Bridging the Generation Gap with Generosity (Part Two)

Father and Son

Link to Part One

Five Opportunities to Engage the Next Generation in Giving

While there’s no guarantee that our children and grandchildren will follow in our footsteps when it comes to philanthropy, evidence suggests that we have more influence in this area than they might let on. Knowing this, it makes sense to think strategically about the message we are sending.

Maybe you’ve already started engaging the next generation in charitable giving, or maybe you’re just looking to start.  From the things we say to spending time volunteering together, there are ample opportunities to connect through generosity:

  • Mentor: Intentionally mentor the people around you – family, neighbours, younger colleagues, church associates. Let them see how you incorporate generosity into your life in big and small ways, explain your reasons for giving, and invite them to join in.
  • Share Your Stories: Whether it’s over a planned cup of coffee or just an anecdote shared while waiting in line for something else, seize the little moments to talk about your experiences with generosity. And these stories don’t all have to have happy endings – there’s just as much to be learned from the times we didn’t give as we might have.
  • Affirm Generosity: Acknowledge when you see people freely giving their time, money, or talents, whether in your community or in the media. Affirming generosity normalizes giving, makes people feel good, and encourages others to give more themselves.
  • Experience Generosity: Leverage opportunities to spend time giving together. Whether its volunteering in your community or travelling abroad with a humanitarian organization you support, engage with those in need and explore generosity in action.
  • Give Financially: Talk about the charities you choose to support and invite children and grandchildren to give to a cause they care about. An Abundance Canada Gifting Fund™ allows the whole family to dream and strategically engage in philanthropy together.

Even though they might giggle at your outdated dance moves, balk at your fashion choices, or roll their eyes at your lack of technical prowess, the next generation is looking to you to help them develop a philanthropy all their own. Are you ready to bridge the generation gap through giving?

In Part Three, we’ll share the story of a father who created a tradition of generous giving that has connected his family through multiple generations.

Contributed by Peter Dryden
Gift Planning Consultant

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