The Giving Family: Raising Our Children to Help Others

What is the most long-lasting inheritance we, as parents, can bequeath to our children? Perhaps the gift of giving is the most enduring of presents we will ever give. As author Price notes, "Philanthropy and service are key tools in furthering democracy. If we raise kids who care about others, we'll have passed on a legacy that will strengthen our communities and make all families healthier and happier."

In this well-informed and easy-to-read book, The Giving Family: Raising Our Children to Help Others, Susan Crites Price discusses multiple ways in which parents can foster philanthropy in their children. The author is a seasoned journalist and prize-winning author of parenting books who lives in Washington, D.C. Her style is instructional without being pedantic. With the inclusion of personal stories and examples throughout the narrative, her creative approach is particularly appealing.

Price challenges parents to raise children to become caring adults by planting the seeds in them about charitable giving through stories, games and activities, films and videos, and by modeling behavior for them. Family volunteering and community service through school, church activities and youth organizations are ways in which a philanthropic education can be fostered. With lessons on spending choices, and a special chapter devoted to children and youth involvement in family foundations, Price covers her subject quite thoroughly.

The book is aimed at parents, but there are many ideas to be shared with children. It is filled with original and fun ideas for the family and is chock-full of case studies and examples. Although containing no graphics per se, the examples and case studies are formatted so that it is an easy book to scan for ideas on a certain topic. The "Next Steps" section at the end of the book handily summarizes the book's content and the "Resource" section contains topical lists that include both print materials and Web sites that are relevant to the subject.

In the foreword to the book, the president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, Dorothy S. Ridings, states "The Council commissioned this book as part of an effort to help families who form foundations pass the philanthropic impulse on to their children and their children's children." Although this is a lofty goal for a slim paperback, it is a goal that is brought to fruition in this enlightening and inspiring volume. A philanthropic education is a worthy goal for all families, whether they have close connections with a family foundation or not. The Giving Family: Raising Our Children to Help Othersshould be required reading for all well-intentioned parents.

To locate additional materials on this topic, refer to Literature of the Nonprofit Sector Online, using the subject heading "Individual giving."

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