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Imagine Canada

Strong Charities. Strong Communities.

Holidays are the perfect time to instill spirit of giving in kids: Survey

Monday, November 27, 2017
Raising the next generation to be charitable critical to future happiness, strong communities.

A majority of parents (89 per cent) believe in inspiring their kids to give to charities, according to a new survey from Imagine Canada.

The online study found parents broadly recognize the value of raising children to be kind and generous.

A majority see empathy as a valuable life-skill. Eight-in-ten parents surveyed (82 per cent) think children or teenagers who regularly give to charities are more likely to become happy, caring adults. As well, 89 per cent believe it is important children and teenagers understand charitable giving benefits everyone by making communities stronger.

Other survey highlights:

  • 79 per cent see charitable giving as an essential holiday season experience for their children and teenagers
  • 76 per cent say they are committed to teaching their children about charitable giving
  • 77 per cent believe it’s important to provide their children with opportunities and encouragement to give a portion of their allowance to charities of their own choice
  • 79 per cent have discussed charitable giving with their kids
  • 36 per cent have called a family meeting to discuss charitable giving as part of their family’s holiday activities 

“The greatest gift we can give our children is generosity itself,” says Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada. “Imagine a future where the next generation stands up in vast numbers to support charities. Ours would be a society in which everyone was valued and no one was left behind. In very real ways, our future quality of life depends on raising children who care and give back.”

Here then are some tips for raising charitable children:

Talk to your kids about giving back. 

Charitable giving should be regularly discussed. Emphasize you expect consideration for others. Whenever they give back, acknowledge them. Get the ball rolling with a family meeting to set a giving and volunteering strategy. (Hint: the holidays are the perfect time!)

Be a role model.

When you give, make sure your children know it. Describe the personal satisfaction that comes from helping others and involve them in your giving decisions.

Align giving with your child’s interests. 

Children and teenagers will gravitate to charities that reflect their interests. If your daughter loves to read, suggest an organization that advances literacy. If your son is athletic, recommend a charity that helps less fortunate kids acquire sports equipment. If your teenager cares about the environment, propose a “green” cause.

Encourage your kids to connect with charities.

Getting to know a charity is the best way to understand its true impact. Direct engagement also significantly increases the likelihood of a long-term relationship. Suggest going online, attending events and personal contact to ask questions. The most effective charities always welcome inquiries and dialogue.

Set a budget.

Teach young children to donate a portion of their allowance. The classic technique is to label containers “save”, “spend” and “give”. Then help your kids decide how much should go to each container. When enough is saved ($10 is sufficient), let them donate.

Keep the end goal in sight. 

Stay focused on inspiring compassion as an intuitive reaction. Remember charitable kids become adults who create goodness within their families, personal circles and communities. They, in turn, will bestow their own legacy of generosity to their kids.


This holiday season Canadians will give approximately $5 billion to charitable causes. Charitable gifts made in the next five weeks are expected to account for 40 per cent of all donations in 2017. 

“The massive scale of giving expected this holiday season shows clearly Canadians are steadfast about helping others,” says MacDonald. “It is time to pass on this legacy of generosity to our children. We encourage all parents to inspire their kids to donate, volunteer and engage with a charity of their choice.”

Visit www.imaginecanada.ca for a complete listing of accredited charities along with a comprehensive www.guidetogiving.ca to help donors become more familiar with charities of interest.

Results of this research study were based on a national online survey of 1,000 randomly selected Canadians and was balanced in terms of region and demographics. The survey was designed and administered by Ignite Lab as a public service.

#GivingLegacy Infographic

2017 Raising Charitable Children Survey

Web page

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About Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada is a national charitable organization whose cause is Canada’s charities and nonprofits. Our three broad goals are to strengthen the sector’s collective voice, create opportunities to connect and learn from each other and build the sector’s capacity to succeed.

imaginecanada.ca | Twitter: @ImagineCanada | Facebook: /ImagineCanada



For further information:

Leslie Booth [English Media]
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Sophie Allard [médias francophones]
514-499-3030, poste 771


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