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Promoting Generous Giving among Teens.

Crittenden, Alexandra.

Although teenagers are often asked to volunteer their time, they are rarely asked to donate their money. The author argues that it is important to cultivate generous giving among teens, not only because they are an underutilized source of financial support for nonprofit groups, but also because financial habits are formed during childhood and adolescence. Accordingly, this article attempts to gain insight into what influences exceptionally generous teens to give at higher levels than their peers. The author presents results from semistructured interviews with 10 teenagers who currently donate $100 or more per year to charity. Based on these interviews, several common themes emerged among participants, including membership in communities that practice philanthropy, a belief in the need for wise giving, and financial training and cultivation of good financial habits by parents or guardians. The author concludes that there are a number of ways to nurture philanthropy in teens: (1) families, schools, youth programs, and religious organizations should discuss charitable giving more frequently; (2) young people should be taught more about wise giving and how to use available resources for evaluating charities; (3) parents should be more assertive in teaching their children good financial and charitable giving habits; and (4) teens who are already giving at generous levels should be asked to teach other teens about charitable giving.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
This new initiative project was supported by CURA through a postdoctoral research grant.
32 (2): 1-6.
Online availability
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CURA call number: 
Reporter 32 (2)

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