Make sure it's registered - Whether your child is making a personal donation or raising money with friends, talk about how to research organizations whose work they find meaningful. Make sure the charity is legitimate. It should be a registered charity - just like investment scams, some con artists will make up fake charities and try to steal money. Never give money to a pushy solicitor or an organization you do not know. Also, you should never give cash to door-to-door solicitors, instead, write a cheque and make sure it is made out to the exact name of the charity. Fraudsters will often set up fake charities that sound like well-known, legitimate organizations.
Give gifts to charity - Instead of getting or giving gifts for a birthday or holiday party, your child may ask for a cash donation for a charity, nonperishable items for a local food bank, pet food or litter for an animal shelter or toys for a children's hospital. Many organizations also have wish lists where you can buy unique items for the purpose of donation. You can even ask for a chicken or goat for an undernourished family in a Third World Country!
Teaching children about the importance of giving back to the community is a valuable lesson. On their own, children may decide to give a portion of their allowance or earnings to charity. As a group, kids can work together to make a real difference.
One child alone can make small contributions, but a group can enjoy the satisfaction of accomplishing a bigger goal. There are many ways to raise funds for a favourite charity - garage sales, bake sales, craft sales and car washes to name a few. Help your child in the planning for the fundraiser, make sure all of the children involved understand what the money will be going towards and how it is going to be divided. Even though their money is going to be given away, it is still important to keep a budget of everything they have spent and earned so you can tell whether the fundraiser has been a success.
Volunteering at a local charity or not-for-profit organization is a rewarding experience. Not only does it benefit the organization, but the experience will teach your child new skills and help them look at money and consuming in a new light.
Many communities have volunteer centres or websites that promote the needs of charities in your community.