“Hey, Suzy, we just donated $20 on your behalf to Heifer International.”
“Umm, OK. Thanks.”
— versus —
“Hey, Mom, Dad!!! You know that rescue shelter where we found Shadow? I found their site online. I’m going to give them the $20 I saved up on my charitable card.”
Donating is like exercising. You don’t get the benefits if someone else does it for you.
When you donate on behalf of your kids, they lose out on the ownership, pride, and joy that comes from donating themselves. Even if it’s their hard earned dollars, there’s something about not being able to complete the final transaction that diminishes the charitable buzz.
As more donation opportunities move online, more kids are missing out on the full end-to-end charitable giving experience. Parents end up having to close the deal with their own credit or debit card online.
The solution? Give your kids their own debit cards so they can complete online charitable transactions themselves. (Of course, you’ll want to vet the site first for younger kids.)
For best results, let each kid accumulate the charitable funds into a separate sub-account or onto a separate prepaid card. It’s easier to track, avoids accidental spending, and encourages the best practice of money bucketing.
Don’t let today’s online world get in the way of your kid closing the charitable deal. Reaping that final benefit might just make giving a habit.
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