Giving As A Family

The act of giving as a family creates a special bond. It can unite generations with varied interests, priorities and circumstances, and bring together children and grandchildren who might live in faraway places.

It is never too early or too late to start giving as a family. Research shows that children as young as four years old can begin to understand charitable concepts, and younger givers can often inspire older generations to lead a more generous life.

Here are some ways you can involve multiple generations in charitable giving, so you can pass on your charitable values and deepen your family’s relationship.

Have a Giving Discussion
The following questions can help start a conversation about giving. Try them out at your next family gathering.

  • What gives you hope?
  • What are three things that you wish everyone in the world could have?
  • If you could solve one problem to make the world a better place, what would it be?
  • What does the world have too much of? Too little?
  • How do you want people to remember you after your lifetime?

Start the Giving Conversation Early
Teach young children to be financially literate and charitable with three containers marked spend, save and share. Encourage children to divide their allowance money among each container and then donate the money collected in the share jar to a charity chosen by the child. Coupling the donation with an in-person visit to the charity will make a stronger impact.

Work With Our Philanthropic Advisors
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation philanthropic advisors are experts in multigenerational giving. They can work with family members to understand values, interests and goals, and then develop a roadmap for your family’s giving. They also serve as a neutral party if conversations get tough, and they can provide customized plans to engage all generations in charitable activities.

Formulate and Document Charitable Plans
Our Giving Guide can help you determine what philanthropy means to your family. You can complete the workbook together, discussing your past giving, charitable motivations and interest areas, and ultimately formulate a family giving plan or mission statement. The Giving Guide is available online at, or you can request complimentary hard copies by emailing

Recommended Reads

  • Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving, by Sharna Goldseker
  • Generous Genes: Raising Caring Kids in a Digital Age, by Susan Crites Price
  • Raising Charitable Children, by Carol Weisman
  • Raising Financially Fit Kids, by Joline Godfrey
  • The Giving Book, by Ellen Sabin
  • The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects, by Barbara Lewis