Parents Powerfully Influence Their Children’s Charity: Indiana Research

Study finds talking to children about philanthropy effective across all income levels

Men and women have been shown to exhibit different motivations and behavior in their charitable giving, but little research has been done about how boys and girls learn to become charitable adults, according to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

The institute’s recently released Women Give 2013 study investigated two ways in which parents teach children about giving and whether girls and boys respond differently to those approaches. It also examined whether differences existed by age, income and race.

The study sample comprised children from the millennial generation (born 1980 to 2000) across two time periods, 2002 to 2003 and 2007 to 2008, within the same households.

Key findings included the following:

  • Boys and girls were equally likely to give to charity
  • Nearly 90% of subjects age 8 to 19 gave to charity
  • Girls were more likely than boys to volunteer their time
  • Most children across all income levels had parents who talked to them about giving to charity
  • Talking to children about philanthropy was equally effective regardless of the child’s gender, race and age.
  • Talking to boys and girls about charity was more influential on children’s giving than whether the household donated to charity
  • There was no evidence that talking to children about philanthropy was more effective in one income group than in another.

The 2013 report is the fourth in a series of research reports conducted at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute that focus on gender differences in giving to charity. A previous report showed that boomer women were more charitable than their male counterparts.

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Check out Boomer Women Much More Charitable Than Male Counterparts on ThinkAdvisor.

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