Engaging Your Children in Your Giving

Mark Eshman

Director of Endowments & Foundations Group, Sr. Wealth Advisor


Engaging your children in your giving can inspire active and passionate philanthropists. Utilize these effective strategies.


Whether you have a family foundation or a donor-advised fund, engaging the next generation in family giving can be a rewarding endeavor that fosters a sense of purpose, responsibility, and connection to shared values.

Here are some effective ways to engage younger family members in your family giving:

  1. Educational Workshops and Sessions: Organize workshops or educational sessions to teach younger family members about the importance of philanthropy, the family’s giving history, and the impact of charitable work. Provide opportunities for them to learn about different causes, nonprofits, and effective giving strategies.
  2. Hands-On Volunteering Opportunities: Offer hands-on volunteering opportunities for younger family members to directly engage with charitable organizations and communities in need. This could involve volunteering at local shelters, participating in environmental clean-up efforts, or helping with fundraising events. Hands-on experiences can deepen their understanding of social issues and the impact of their actions. Starting when your children are young opens their eyes to opportunities as they develop. By the time they reach college there will be internship opportunities along with formal training. There are organizations that specialize in intergenerational transitions and next generation philanthropy.
  3. Family Giving Meetings: Hold regular family giving meetings where members of all ages come together to discuss charitable initiatives, allocate funds, and make decisions about where to donate. Encourage younger family members to actively participate by sharing their perspectives, interests, and ideas for giving. This helps them feel valued and involved in the decision-making process.
  4. Mentorship and Guidance: Pair younger family members with older mentors who can provide guidance, support, and encouragement in their philanthropic journey. Mentors can share their experiences, provide insight into effective giving practices, and help younger members develop their own philanthropic goals and strategies.
  5. Create a Youth Giving Circle: Establish a youth giving circle or committee comprised of younger family members. Empower them to research and select causes or projects to support, allocate funds, and oversee the impact of their giving. This provides them with a sense of ownership and responsibility over their philanthropic activities.
  6. Technology and Social Media Engagement: Utilize technology and social media platforms to engage younger family members in philanthropy. Create interactive content, such as videos, blogs, or social media campaigns, to raise awareness about causes they care about and inspire action. Encourage them to share their experiences and initiatives online to amplify their impact and reach a wider audience.
  7. Recognition and Celebration: Celebrate the contributions and achievements of younger family members in philanthropy. Recognize their efforts through awards, certificates, or public acknowledgments during family gatherings or special events. Celebrating their involvement reinforces the importance of their contributions and encourages continued engagement.
  8. Family Giving Legacy Projects: Engage younger family members in creating and implementing legacy projects that reflect the family’s values and philanthropic mission. This could involve initiating a long-term community development project, establishing a scholarship fund, or launching a social enterprise. Involving them in legacy projects allows them to leave a lasting impact and carry forward the family’s philanthropic legacy into the future.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively engage the next generation of family members in your family giving efforts and inspire them to become active and passionate philanthropists.

To learn more about family giving strategies, contact your advisor. If you are not a Mercer Advisors client and are interested in family foundations, donor-advised funds, or next generation philanthropy, let’s talk.

Mercer Advisors Inc. is a parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services. Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”) is registered as an investment advisor with the SEC. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements.

All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change. Some of the research and ratings shown in this presentation come from third parties that are not affiliated with Mercer Advisors. The information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed or warranted by Mercer Advisors. Content, research, tools and stock or option symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or to engage in any particular investment strategy. For financial planning advice specific to your circumstances, talk to a qualified professional at Mercer Advisors.

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