Charitable giving is a topic that my wife and I are passionate about. We enjoy giving back and appreciate the opportunities we’ve had to do so.  Owning a financial planning firm for families brings with it a certain level of obligation in this regard.  It is our duty to make sure we talk to our clients about ways they can teach their children and share what they personally have in our discussions about allocating their income. 

Here are the tips we offer to parents:

  • Charitable giving is 3 things: Time, Talent, and Treasure.  Everyone can do something- regardless of their age. 
  • Be mindful of your own giving and tell them what/why you’re doing it.  Children emulate what they see.  If you work to be generous of heart, they’ll follow your lead.
  • Let them put the money in the collection basket at church.  When they’re old enough to earn their own money, ask them how much they would like to donate before you attend church. 
  • Talk to them about taking 10% of the gross amount they earn and giving it to something they feel is worthwhile.  Usually, you can start teaching them about this in 4th grade, once they’ve learned how to calculate percentages, but the earlier the better depending on the child.
  • Participate in community collections for food and clothing, sponsor a family, or make meals for families with an ill member. 
  • Give time to helping people through the occupation you already have- Pro Bono work, carpentry skills, etc.  We can all give of our talent.

Giving of yourself in any capacity is not only immensely rewarding, but you are also training the next generation to follow in your footsteps- an investment that will pay off dividends for years to come.

John P. Chladek, MBA, CFP® is the President and Founder of Chladek Wealth Management, LLC, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm specializing in helping families and couples who are not yet retired realize their financial goals.  For more information, visit

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