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How to raise a philanthropist…

June 24, 2011

Conveying ideals of philanthropy to the next generation is something I think about a lot, and I know Venu and Sharmila do as well.  Apparently so does the Wall Street Journal.  This useful article offers some tips to parents in encouraging their children to engage in philanthropy and volunteering.  Although the article cites examples about the ultra-wealthy, I think there are some good lessons for the rest of us – like encouraging kids to give for personal occasions such as birthdays; having family meetings about charity; and doing volunteering activities as a family.

Here’s a list of links from the article:

And two more that SAPP admires (and has written about here at our blog):

What do you think it takes to teach kids about philanthropy?  Is it more important for people with more wealth or something we should all be focusing on?  Is there anything distinctive about our South Asian community when it comes to transmitting values about giving and volunteering to the next generation?
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laav P permalink
    June 28, 2011 8:10 pm

    What invigorates me about the American ethos is the emphasis on philanthropy. From Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to the small town church and synagogue, Americans of all background are heavily involved with volunteerism and community service. Children learn by example; parents have to emphasize a spirit of philanthropy and giving back in the home first. Then it extends to the broader society. For the incredible opportunities America has given South Asians, we have not done as much in the arena of philanthropy. We may build big expensive mandirs, but we do not know how to provide basic social services to South Asians in need. We may stress Ivy League degrees and 7 figure incomes, but I am yet to see an Indian example of Mark Zuckerberg in our current group of second generation South Asian entrepreneurs (Zuckerberg gave away 100 million at the age of 26 to Newark public schools). As a highly educated and affluent community, we have a moral obligation and responsibility to give back to this country that gave us so much. I would not be in the position I am today were it not for the extroardinary opportunities given to my father by the American medical community.. I am proud to say that I give back as much as I can within my ability (even 5 dollars or volunteering once a month at a soup kitchen), irrespective of my current financial status.

  2. asridhar permalink*
    July 4, 2011 11:05 pm

    Great comment – I totally agree. I think South Asians have a huge opportunity in terms of philanthropy – particularly if we can find some areas of consensus in our community for what kind of impact we’d like to make. I’m so glad to hear that you give back, no matter the amount – that is what we really hope to see more and more of through SAPP’s efforts as well.

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