Three Easy Ways to Incorporate Giving in Your Family’s Holiday Plans

We all know that this is a busy time of year, but between the cookie baking and gift wrapping, it’s easy to make charitable giving part of your family’s holiday plans. Here are three traditions you can start with your family to give back during the holiday season – tested and approved by my own family.

Whitney and her daughter Lillian volunteer at their church's food pantry.

1. Give the Gift of Time
My 7-year-old daughter and I spend time over her winter break volunteering at our church’s food pantry. We first started volunteering there when she was just four and, yes, it is possible for a child that young to be a helpful volunteer! She loves passing out candy canes and greeting those who visit the food pantry. One of the best ways to get kids excited about giving back is to be a role model – when they see their parents, older siblings, and even grandparents in active volunteer roles, they want to join in on the fun, too. I’ve also found that organizations that meet basic and essential needs, like food pantries, are a great way to introduce younger kids to volunteers because these organizations provide something that we all need.

2. Consider the Gift of Giving Cards
Giving Cards are a great way to get the whole family involved in supporting favorite causes and organizations. Consider giving each family member a Giving Card and encourage them to let others know what they are supporting and why. You might even learn something new about the charitable interests of your family members – no wrapping required! The Community Foundation has made purchasing Giving Cards online easy and efficient. Click here to learn more and purchase Giving Cards for your loved ones.

3. Bring Your Giving to the Dinner Table
Looking for a topic that everyone can participate in at a holiday meal? One of my favorite questions to ask is “what is your favorite nonprofit organization?” Younger kids who might not understand the concept of nonprofits could be asked even the simplest of questions such as “what makes you happy?” or “what is something you could do to help a friend?” Having consistent conversations about the needs in your community and how your family can support local and national charities with gifts of time, talent and treasure are a great way to create and enhance a family legacy of giving.

Not quite sure how to start that conversation? Download and save our Let’s Talk Giving conversation cards – print them out or save them to your phone and have a conversation about giving with your family next time you’re around the dinner table. Or, send us an email at and we can send you and your family a set of our Let’s Talk Giving conversation cards.

From all of us at the Community Foundation – we wish you and your family a happy holiday season. We look forward to supporting your family’s philanthropy in 2018 and beyond.

Grow Your Giving Senior Philanthropic Advisor Whitney Hosty


Authored by: Whitney Hosty, Senior Philanthropic Advisor