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How to Teach Your Child About Philanthropy

by Missy Ketchum, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement

How often do you take an opportunity to teach your children about philanthropy? Most of us think that the word “philanthropist” can only be used for someone who makes enormous gifts–Bill Gates or Andrew Carnegie, but certainly not ourselves. 

While it’s true that most of us aren’t in that category of giving, all of us who contribute to causes we care about are engaging in philanthropy. Philanthropy is everywhere in our lives, if we take the time to notice. If your children watch the Wild Kratts on PBS, help them understand that people give money to PBS to make that show (and all of the others). On the drive home from your church or place of worship, tell your kids that the priests or pastors or rabbis are paid a salary through the giving of the members. Do you go to the Nutcracker every Christmas? Adopt pets from your local Humane Society? Work out at the YMCA? Philanthropy powers all of these, and they would not exist if not for the generosity of people who value their missions. 

If  you attended or your children attend an independent school, know that the classroom buildings, playing fields, cafeteria, theatre–just about every facility or space on campus–was built by charitable giving. And the salaries and programs get a boost from donations, too.

How is this possible? The answer is that philanthropy succeeds best when it involves as many people as possible. The famous “ice bucket challenge” that benefited the ALS Foundation raised $114 million from people who gave anywhere from $10.00 to $1 million. The same is true of campaigns at Episcopal, where donors giving $2 million participate alongside donors giving $25.00.

This makes the experience of philanthropy accessible to anyone. Most of us give money away every year, whether we are very wealthy or not wealthy at all. People enjoy giving, and teaching kids about giving sets them up for a lifetime of rewarding giving experiences.

There are many ways to do this. A common (and sweet) beginning is the lemonade stand whose proceeds go to a charity. If your child is particularly passionate about something–animals, children’s hospitals, music–stay tuned to the websites of these organizations so that you can talk about how your family is helping to accomplish good things.

As children get older, they may enjoy a more in-depth lesson about different charities with similar missions. Do some research about which ones to support. Guidestar and Charity Navigator are good sources of information for donors. Visit the nonprofit organizations if possible, to see them in action. Ask for a tour. Giving is not and should not only be about money; getting involved in serving the organization can make giving more meaningful. And talk about instances where giving money really is the best service, as is often the case with natural disasters in distant countries.

Older teenagers are capable of thinking through and developing a personal mission statement for the giving they want to do. This can be a meaningful exercise for a family to do and to revisit through the years.

In whatever way you choose to discuss philanthropy with your children, keep the emphasis on the rewards of being generous, both for others and for ourselves. Being philanthropic is one of the ways we can all participate in making the world a better place. 

10 Tips to Ace Your College Admissions Interview

By Julie Carter, Associate Director of College Counseling, Episcopal School of Jacksonville Some colleges offer an interview as part of their admissions process. While the interview itself will not be the deciding factor in admissions decisions, it can be a great opportunity to help a college representative get to know you better. The interview gives you… Continue Reading

Five Reasons to Experience Global Learning with ESJ

by Kiara Wessling, Director of Global Learning  Episcopal has long offered multiple opportunities to travel abroad and domestically through its Institute of Global Learning. Each program is designed to offer students an exceptional experience that fully immerses them in the culture, food, and spirit of the destination. Some programs are purely culture or language-based, others… Continue Reading

Back to School: Conversations to Have with Your Student

There are many lists on the web that provide parents with a general idea of how to help their children prepare for the upcoming school year. At Episcopal, we like to emphasize collaboration, support, and communication as the best ways to prepare for the upcoming school year. First and foremost, set aside a time when… Continue Reading

How Community Service Benefits Your Child

More than 50 years ago, the Founders of Episcopal School of Jacksonville had a vision. Their vision was NOT of a school that produced doctors and nurses, engineers and business executives, entrepreneurs and inventors, lawyers and politicians, athletes and artists. Their vision was not about what the students would become; their vision was about who… Continue Reading

The Transformative Power of Theatre on Students’ Sense of Self

Kelby Siddons ‘06, Faculty, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, with Naiya Cheanvechai ’20 When you think about a theatre class, what do you envision? Most outside observers accustomed to the seated organization of a traditional classroom are initially rattled by the chatter of multiple small groups working in different areas of the space, the barbaric yawps… Continue Reading

Video: Influence & Effects of Social Media and Screen Time

Episcopal and Baptist Health presented Influence & Effects of Social Media and Screen Time, on March 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Munnerlyn Center. Baptist’s Raj Loungani, MD, MPH, and De’Von Patterson, PhD, addressed screen time recommendations, the impact of social media and screen time on sleep, stress, behavior, and physical health, as well as… Continue Reading

5 Things You Can Do When Your Dream College Says “No”

By Julie Carter, Episcopal Associate Director of College Counseling As college admissions decisions are released in the coming weeks, thousands of high schools seniors will have to face the reality that sometimes, no matter how hard you try and how badly you want something, the answer is still “no.” It’s how you work through and handle… Continue Reading

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