“I think maybe people are philanthropists from the start. I came from a very generous family. My parents were physicians and spent their lives caring for others and inspired that into both myself and my brother….”-- Kimberly Myers Hewlett, Board Member, Myers Family Foundation (and mom!)
One of the biggest gifts of working at NCFP is the ability to support thousands of giving families in the joy, wonder, togetherness, and sharing you do as a family. The holidays epitomize that time.
Many of the families we support engage together around giving as they gather for the holidays, and being together as a family is at the top of many of your wish lists. As Kimberly shares:
“Knowing that your whole family is in it is really powerful.”
As you plan for the holidays - whether to find a turkey, put up your holiday decorations, or plan time with family - we wanted to share some of our own favorite holiday traditions from staff and giving families:
Extend your family: Just as some foundations add non-family to their boards and other convenings, consider inviting your friends to join with your family for the holidays. How do you bring and share the holiday traditions and joy of your family with others?
Adopt a family or foster children for the holidays: We’re always proactive in helping support these efforts at our church. One year, we also delivered the gifts the Saturday before the holidays.
Plan a service project as a family like making cards, paracord bracelets or building 3-D printed hands.
Hold a dinner table foundation meeting: Decide ahead of time if each family member gets to pick a charity or if you decide together. Set a time and place. Bring a large easel. Explain how decisions will be made. You can even use play money to help kids visualize how dollars are allocated. When your kids are very young (kindergarten), limit the meeting to 20 minutes and choose charities that appeal like an animal shelter. Don’t focus on amount of money until they’re older. (Source: The Giving Family by former NCFP Vice President Susan Crites Price)
Bring your children or family with you to serve or to donate or engage. Start as early as you'd like... really! We know of six month olds taken on site visits and babies dropping off donations.
Have kids donate extra toys or give away toys when they get new toys. Encourage your kids to see the value in donating their unused and lesser-used toys to others at the holidays. Better yet, hold a virtual garage sale with older toys to raise money for a family or friend in need.
Choose several times to volunteer together at the holidays. One family holds their holiday giving traditions in the Spring because they know more people give during the holidays.
“Another thing I am trying to do is be a good role model for my children. And I hope to expose my children to these problems in such a way that engages them to make that change.”
To learn more about how Kimberly and her husband Billy encourage their children to continue the generous spirit of their family, watch the short video below:
Looking for additional tips and suggestions? Here are a few of our favorite holiday resources:
- The Hip Family’s Guide to Happier Holidays
- Holiday traditions from our families
- Holiday traditions from the Perdue family
- Does NCFP recommend any special holiday gift giving guides for family philanthropy?
- Involve Kids Early in Family Philanthropy and Give Them Input into Giving
Thank you for your gifts to support your family and other giving families through your time, talent, treasure and ties giving both to your family, NCFP, and charities across the world.