Parents Are Important Influence on Children's Charitable Giving, Study Finds

Parents talking to children about charitable giving has a greater impact on children's giving than role-modeling alone, a report from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds.

Based on a study of nine hundred and three children over two periods, 2002-2003 and 2007-2008, the report, Women Give 2013 (22 pages, PDF), found that children whose parents talk to them about charitable giving are 20 percent more likely to give to charity than children whose parents don't discuss giving with them, regardless of the child's sex, age, race, or family income. The report, which was conducted in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, also found that nearly nine out of ten children between the ages of 8 and 19 give to charity; that girls and boys are equally likely to make monetary gifts to charity; and that girls are more likely than boys to volunteer — a pattern that continues in adulthood.

"Understanding how children learn about charity has important implications for the future of giving in America," said IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy director of research Una Osili. "Studies like this benefit parents, teachers, nonprofit leaders, and policy makers as they seek to engage the next generation in philanthropy."

"How Parents Teach Children About Charitable Giving Matters, New Study Finds." Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Press Release 09/12/2013.