Do a Google search for “how do you talk to kids about giving back” and you’ll get 289 million results in 0.57 seconds. While so many results can be a bit overwhelming, it’s an important lesson for children and helps to shape future philanthropists. Women Give 2013 found that children whose parents talk to them about giving are 20 percent more likely to give to charity than children whose parents do not discuss giving with them. That finding holds true regardless of the child’s sex, age, race, and family income.
Since Girl Scouts is a platform for girls to make the world a better place, how do you begin the conversation about philanthropy with your troop? Girl Scouts Give is here to help!
1) Start the conversation by talking about what philanthropy means – and more importantly, why it matters.
Philanthropy: the love of (wo)mankind.
Or, according to the Brownie Philanthropist badge, “Philanthropist? That’s just a big word for someone who makes sure people have what they need!”
Being a sister to every Girl Scout matters to us because nearly 75% of our 41-county service area is designated as economically distressed. Girl Scouting in these communities is essential to provide a stable outlet for girls to grow, lead, and thrive. Furthermore, studies prove the benefits of girl-led leadership opportunities are greater for girls of lower-socioeconomic status.
In other words, Girl Scouts Give so EVERY girl can be a Girl Scout.
2) Relate it to a time when they, or someone they know, needed help.
There are so many philanthropic efforts happening locally, nationally and around the world, and some are easier to understand and connect to than others. It’s fairly easy for kids to remember how they felt when they needed something – whether it be food when they were hungry, a blanket when they were cold or medicine when they were sick. Use these personal experiences to paint a bigger picture of people that need help.
Girl Scouts in Hoke County did just that when completing the Girl Scouts Give patch program earlier this year! They discussed what they love about Girl Scouts, how they would feel if they weren’t able to be a Girl Scout, and why they thought all girls should have the opportunity. Their biggest takeaway:
“They are so excited to help girls get the same experience”
3) Make it bite-sized.
Even adults can have a hard time understanding how they’re making an impact, especially when the need is so big. A NPR article “Why Your Brain Wants to Help One Child In Need – But Not Millions”, digs in to a philanthropic phenomenon where people become intimidated by how big some problems might be and don’t take action because of it- “My $25 gift won’t make a difference against world hunger, why bother?” That’s why it is so important to break it down and make it personal. Girls in your troop can connect with girls like ‘Girl Scout Brownie Brooke’ who represents girls across our council that need your help!
Brooke is very imaginative, loves camping, and is super-independent. She’s also shy and has some challenges in her family life. But we love how she shines at Girl Scouts! Does Brownie Brooke remind you of a Girl Scout you know? Your troop can help to make sure all girls like Brooke have a Girl Scout experience when you make a pledge to Girl Scouts Give today!
4) Make philanthropy part of your routine.
We believe that it is important to consider our Girl Scout sisters in everything we do. That’s one of the reasons we’ve integrated Girl Scouts Give patch activities with requirements for badges your girls may already be working on. That’s also why we encourage your troop to brainstorm ways you can save and earn money throughout the troop year- small amounts can really add up to making a large impact! Take Girl Scouts from Durham Troop #4034:
With pledges ranging from $5 to $37, each girl individually determined a variety of ways she planned to honor her pledges…here are a few:
- “I plan to do this by bringing $1 per meeting.”
- “I plan to do this by using some allowance money.”
- “I plan to do this by using some of my savings.”
- “I plan to do this by doing my chores and some extra things like washing a car.”
Each kept a copy of their pledge card so that she could discuss her commitment with her parents – and many parents are matching their girl’s contribution!
Learn more about ways to be a sister to every Girl Scout, all the different ways to be a philanthropist, why donating to Girl Scouts is important, and how to use things they’re doing every day to create good by visiting Girl Scouts Give on our website. And, mark your calendar for the other blogs in this series:
9/23/19: Introducing Girl Scouts Give
12/9/19: “Girl Scouts Give so all girls can …”
1/13/20: Meet some of the troops who are participating