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5 Practical Ways to Teach Kids About Charitable Giving and Compassion

As parents and educators, one of our key roles is to guide children not just academically but also in matters of the heart and soul. Instilling financial values for kids is crucial, and charitable giving along with compassion plays a big part in this. It’s about teaching them to look beyond their own needs and desires, to see the world through a lens of empathy and understanding. Let’s dive into some practical ways to weave these lessons into our daily lives, making the concept of giving and compassion a natural part of their worldview.


Table of Contents

  • Start with a Personal Example

  • Incorporate Giving into their Financial Education

  • Engage in Charitable Projects Together

  • Teach the Value of Non-Monetary Contributions

  • Encourage Reflection and Discussion


teaching financial values through donations and personal example

1) Start with a Personal Example

Lead by Example

Remember, kids are like sponges; they soak up everything around them, especially the actions of the adults in their lives. If you want to teach financial values for kids, start by being a living example of generosity and compassion. Whether it’s donating to a local food bank, volunteering your time at a shelter, or simply helping a neighbor in need, these actions speak louder than words. Share stories of your own giving experiences with your children, discussing the joy and fulfillment they bring. This not only teaches them about giving but also shows them the happiness that comes from contributing to the well-being of others.

  • Actionable Tip: Next time you donate or volunteer, involve your child in the process. Let them see you in action and explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.

giving back to the community is important for kids

2) Incorporate Giving into Their Financial Education

Make It a Budget Item

Financial education for children often revolves around saving, spending, and earning. Add another category: giving. This introduces them to the concept of philanthropy as a normal part of managing finances. Encourage them to set aside a small portion of their allowance or savings for charitable purposes. This can be a powerful lesson in prioritizing the needs of others and understanding the impact of their financial decisions.

  • Key Point: Start a "giving jar" where they can visually see their contributions grow. This tangible representation can be incredibly motivating and fulfilling.

identify and share charitable projects together

3) Engage in Charitable Projects Together

Family Volunteering

One of the most hands-on ways to teach financial values for kids is by getting involved in charitable projects as a family. This could be anything from a beach clean-up to serving meals at a homeless shelter. The key is to choose something that resonates with your family’s values and interests. This shared experience not only strengthens your bond but also instills a sense of responsibility and compassion in your children.

  • Suggestion: Hold a family meeting to choose a cause or organization to support. Make it a collaborative decision to ensure everyone feels invested in the project.

giving isn't always about money for financial values

4) Teach the Value of Non-Monetary Contributions

Beyond Money

Charitable giving isn’t just about money. It’s also about giving time, effort, and skills. This is a crucial lesson in financial values for kids, teaching them that their worth and the worth of their contributions go beyond the monetary. Encourage them to volunteer, highlighting how these experiences can be just as valuable as financial donations. Whether it’s helping out at an animal shelter or participating in a community garden, these activities can foster a deep sense of empathy and understanding.

  • Idea: Explore different ways your child can contribute based on their interests and abilities. It could be as simple as drawing pictures for residents in a nursing home or teaching a younger child to read.

reflect on financial values with kids

5) Encourage Reflection and Discussion

Reflect Together

After any act of giving or volunteering, take the time to reflect and discuss the experience with your child. Talk about the impact of their actions on both themselves and those they helped. Encouraging this kind of reflection helps deepen their understanding and appreciation of giving. It’s also a great way to reinforce the financial values you’re teaching them.

  • Practice: Start a family giving journal where everyone can jot down their thoughts and feelings about the charitable acts they’ve participated in. This can be a wonderful keepsake and a learning tool.


Teaching kids about charitable giving and compassion is a vital part of their education in financial values. It’s about showing them the joy and importance of giving back, helping them grow into caring, responsible adults. By leading by example, incorporating giving into their financial education, engaging in charitable projects together, teaching the value of non-monetary contributions, and encouraging reflection and discussion, we can instill these important values in our children.

Call to Action

Now that you’re armed with these strategies, why not start today? Look for opportunities to involve your children in acts of kindness and giving. And remember, every small act of generosity makes a difference. Share your experiences and tips with others, and let’s build a community that values and practices compassion and giving. Together, we can make a world of difference, one child at a time.

Don’t forget:

  • Lead by Example: Your actions are powerful lessons for your children.

  • Make Giving a Part of Financial Education: Teach them to see giving as an essential part of managing money.

  • Volunteer as a Family: Choose causes that resonate with your family values.

  • Beyond Money: Show them the importance of non-monetary contributions.

  • Reflect and Discuss: Help them understand the impact of their actions.

By embedding these practices into our daily lives, we not only teach financial values for kids but also cultivate a generation that values empathy, compassion, and community.


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