FUNdraising Good Times: Teachable moment for our youth

It’s a joyous time to give and receive – and to teach! With our holiday giving we have a moment to teach our children the power and value of our local and national nonprofits.


As we prepare gifts for our friends and family members we reflect on our relationships and how we value the people in our lives. We may not see a family member on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about them. A gift, card, text, email or phone call is a way to reach across the miles to let them know we care. We can plan visits together for the end of the year, or the year that’s coming. The same can be true for how we reach out to the nonprofits we believe in.

We recently wrote about this being the time to reach out and let the nonprofits we believe in know that we care. It is also the time to think about introducing the younger people in our lives to these nonprofits. It doesn’t matter how old you are – there are always people younger than you! And that means there are people we can share our beliefs with. Think about it this way: you can craft a personal invitation to a younger person in your life, inviting them to join you for a few hours (or a day) volunteering with a nonprofit you support. It could also be a nonprofit you would like to get to know better; one that is aligned with your values. This happens all the time during the last months of the year when families volunteer together to serve meals to those who are hungry, or distribute socks, gloves, and sanitary items to those who are living without a place to call home. You can extend this giving by inviting the younger people in your life to join you in volunteering at a nonprofit during the first few months of the year.

As a society we invest in exposing young people to careers in science, technology, arts, engineering, and mathematics. We want them to experience different forms of music; visit neighboring cities; and attend city council meetings. We want them to participate in a team sport. But sometimes we forget to expose the next generation to the power of local and national nonprofits, the role they play in our individual and collective lives, and the job opportunities available in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. The gift of an introduction to a nonprofit can propel a young person into a life of service and/or giving.

For nonprofits, now is the time to plan for how to welcome young people as volunteers within your organization. Consider a weekend breakfast or luncheon for girls, boys, teens, and young adults that shares the work of your nonprofit, its impact, and ways that they can become involved. Follow that with workshops, and orientation or training sessions throughout the year. Roll out the carpet for the next generation. They are worth it.

Copyright 2022 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727.


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