Blog

Talk About Giving is a program of Central Carolina Community Foundation to encourage multi-generational conversation about philanthropy and support families in raising generous, community-minded children. Through ongoing conversation and active participation in family giving, children recognize philanthropy as a part of their family’s value system. And studies show children of parents who give are much more likely to continue “giving” as adults.

For research, resources and more information, visit www.TalkAboutGiving.org.

October 2018

June 2018

March 2017

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    Neighborly Inspiration

    March 29, 2017

    A friend of ours recently shared this compassionate story of how she was inspired by another donor we featured, The Cheerful Giver.

    Read More »

December 2015

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    The 2015 Holiday "Acts of Giving" List

    December 1, 2015

    As the Midlands’ expert in philanthropy, we’re offering you a list of our recommendations for local “acts of giving” opportunities to get you started.  We hope you will take time this holiday season to enjoy a time honored family tradition or begin a new one. Your traditions will certainly inspire generosity!

    Read More »

February 2015

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Strengthen Your Heart with Giving

    February 26, 2015

    During the month of February, our hearts get lots of attention. Between Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month, we can’t ignore the importance of this organ. Our hearts are the center of our health, both physical and emotional. Most likely, you have seen lots of advice on how you can protect and strengthen this valuable organ.  Did you know that giving can also strengthen your heart? That’s right; giving has been proven to be good for your heart health, both physically and emotionally.

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    A Matchmaker for Philanthropy

    February 12, 2015

    What do Match.com, eHarmony and Central Carolina Community Foundation have in common?  The answer?  We are all dating sites.  Yes, believe it or not, Central Carolina Community Foundation has been a matchmaker for years.  No, we probably can’t help you find true love, but we can help you find the charitable causes you’ve dreamed of helping.  The Foundation helps people in our community find causes and organizations that match their charitable giving goals.

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January 2015

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    5 Reasons You Need a Will, Today

    January 29, 2015

    Planning is a big part of our lives.  We plan our days, our meals and our vacations.  We make plans for lunches, business meetings and birthday celebrations.  But, have we made plans for our future?  We plan our children’s lunches and their play dates but, have we made plans for their future?  Amazingly, only 44 percent of Americans have a will and even fewer people believe that is an important document to create.  In fact, studies show that women and young people (ages 18-34) are more likely to be concerned about maintaining their weight than protecting their financial assets.

    Read More »

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    A Lesson from Luke

    January 8, 2015

    After spin class last Saturday, my neighbor Kevin asked my advice about making a donation.  His son Luke, who is in 2nd grade, had seen the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (APSPCA) commercials showing injured and abandoned animals and wanted to make a donation to an animal shelter.  After discussing some local shelter options, I told Kevin about the Foundation’s Talk About Giving Game and how it could help facilitate his family’s conversation about charity. 

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December 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    7 Generous Family Holiday Traditions

    December 17, 2014

    Traditions make this time of year extra special.  In addition to strengthening family bonds, traditions teach values and skills to your children. During the holidays, children can get wrapped up making their wish lists for Santa and dropping hints about special toys they’d like to see under the tree. This year, take time to incorporate some of these simple and fun traditions that teach giving into your holiday plans:

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October 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Why Do You Give?

    October 31, 2014

    30 years ago, several Midlands business leaders came together to

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Giving is Contagious

    October 3, 2014

    Did you know you can catch the “Giving Bug?”  That’s right, giving is contagious.  The more you give and, spread your passion for giving to others, the more others will give.  When you give, you create a ripple effect, spreading generosity throughout our community.  Your gifts today can inspire others to be generous tomorrow.

    Read More »

September 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    The Impact of Simplicity

    September 19, 2014

    Simplicity.  Even the sound of the word makes me smile.  It is a characteristic many of us strive for but, with the demands

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August 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    What Motivates You to Give?

    August 22, 2014

    There are many reasons a person chooses to be philanthropic. But, it is often surprisingly difficult to pinpoint the personal motivations that drive our decision. Aristotle said “To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” Knowing the motivations behind our charitable efforts helps us make wise choices when deciding where to give. This knowledge can make the difference between proactive and reactive giving.

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  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    A New Perspective on Philanthropy

    August 8, 2014

    By Tori Sharpe, Summer Intern

    One of the most interesting things about interning with Central Carolina Community Foundation has been explaining to others what I do. Though community foundations are a vital and growing part of our communities, many people have never heard the term “community foundation” before and, if they have, are unclear on the details. 

    Read More »

July 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    A Conversation on Multi-Generational Giving

    July 11, 2014

    Four generations. Five panelists. Different views on philanthropy. And, one giant elephant. These were the items in the room at Palmer Memorial Chapel when we began our Multi-Generational Family Forum on June 17th. Through group activities and discussion, participants furthered their understanding of how each generation thinks and, in turn, increased their ability to engage their entire family in philanthropy. The conversation also centered on the barriers that affect giving (our elephant) and how a multi-generational family could address them.  

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June 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    8 Books About Giving For Your Summer Reading List

    June 19, 2014

    Although the heat of summer has descended on us, the summer season officially begins this Saturday, June 21st. Summer activities lend themselves toward relaxation. It’s the perfect time to plunge into your reading list, learn about a new subject, or teach your children about a new topic they might not learn in school. If giving and philanthropy are your topics of interest, we have the scoop on the books you should add to your summer reading list.

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April 2014

  • Posted by Heather Sherwin

    Leaving a "Giving" Footprint

    April 24, 2014

    With the celebration of Earth Day this week, there were lots of conversations about making the world a better place for future generations. We were reminded that how we care for our planet today affects those who will be living here long after we are gone. Interestingly enough, this concept also applies to our giving habits. If we are proactive, we can help the future generations through family philanthropy and planned giving. 

    Read More »

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    SOUPer Bowl

    January 23, 2014

    A big ‘holiday’ is coming up. It’s one of my family’s favorites – an annual celebration when we gather around the television with friends and eat a “full flavored” selection of hot wings, chicken nachos, queso dip and brownies.

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    MLK Day of Service

    January 16, 2014

    “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Saving and Giving: Teaching Kids to Plan

    January 9, 2014

    Saving. As adults we know it’s critical, but learning to save is often tough. The savings rate in our country illustrates the difficulty. The National Institute on Retirement Security says the typical American family has only ‘a few thousand dollars’ saved for retirement.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    New Year, New Traditions

    January 2, 2014

    There's something invigorating about starting a new year – 12 months of endless possibilities. Some approach it as an uncharted adventure while others pen a list of resolutions determined to turn over a new leaf. Whatever your approach, the New Year is a great time to create new family traditions and habits.

    Read More »

December 2013

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: What Would You Change?

    December 26, 2013

    As we bid adieu to 2013, there’s much to reflect on and much to plan. A New Year is upon us — the possibilities are endless! Before you turn the calendar, take the time to review 2013 as a family. What are we thankful for? What milestones occurred? And, perhaps most interestingly of all, if you had the power to change something that happened in the world this year, what would you change? 

    Read More »

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Sacrifice A Gift

    December 17, 2013

    Gifts! Who doesn’t feel a little giddy when they see a present that has their name on it? But, how do we provide balance? We don’t want to let out children down, but are we becoming order fillers? How can we avoid the “I Want” syndrome epidemic in today’s society?

    Read More »

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Question of the Week: Family Traditions

    December 11, 2013

    Ask your children to list their favorite tradition and suggest a new one for the New Year. Traditions can add layers of texture to your life which will last not just during the holidays, but throughout the entire year.  

    Read More »

  • Posted by JoAnn Turnquist

    Creating a Culture of Giving

    December 5, 2013

    Have you heard about ‘Giving Tuesday?’ In the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, which occurred this week, is a day focused on giving, not getting.  It sets the tone for a holiday season filled with generosity and goodwill

    Read More »

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Question of the Week: The Money Tree

    August 9, 2013

    “What do you think? We have a money tree in the backyard?” It’s hard not to wonder if people really do think that money grows on trees, particularly in this day and age. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    TAG Book Club: How to be an Everyday Philanthropist

    August 7, 2013

    We're in the dog days of summer. But a new beginning is on the horizon. Can you feel the excitement? It won't be long and it will be time to buy that new Trapper Keeper, monogrammed lunchbag or super heroes backpack. There will be white tennis shoes, glowing on feet. Fresh blue jeans, a size too big so we can grow into them. Maybe even a fresh new haircut. New schedules, routines and activities. But perhaps you've been thinking about ways to make life more meaningful for your family as you get into the crazy hubbub of the school year. But how can you fit it all in? Well, don't worry - we've got you covered.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Foundation Staff Talk With JCC Campers about Giving

    August 5, 2013

    As you know, the Community Foundation is committed to the next generation. We truly believe - and the research shows - that in order to ensure a generous, community-minded next-generation, we have to foster and nurture these values.

    Read More »

July 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    TAG Book Club: The Giving Book

    July 16, 2013

    The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving, by Ellen Sabin, inspires, engages and teaches children about the act of giving back. It provides a process to help families guide their children in gaining a sense of compassion, exploring their own personal interests in helping others, and discovering the true impact they can have in the lives of others, their community and the world. The 64-page, spiral-bound workbook will be personalized by your child, making him the author of his own journey into compassion and giving.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    The Tale of Two Seas

    July 8, 2013

    School might be out, but we have an interesting, mid-summer lesson! Have you heard about the two seas in Israel and Jordan. Take a peek at the map here.

    Read More »

June 2013

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Why We Give Money

    June 21, 2013

    When we think about philanthropy, three ‘gifts’ come to mind that can be shared: 1) Time, 2) Talent, and 3) Treasure. All are important.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Eight Ways to Volunteer with Your Kids

    June 12, 2013

    One of our Facebook fans recently shared this inspiring quote from Gandhi with us: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

    Here at the Community Foundation, we've been reflecting on this quote for the last few days because it is so powerful and true. Take a moment to think about the times when you have given your time, energy, and support to serve others: aren’t those moments some of your most rewarding and fulfilling? As parents, we have the opportunity to share that experience with our children.

    Read More »

May 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Question of the Week: My School

    May 31, 2013

    The school year has come to an end. The kids are running out the door. Teachers are cleaning their rooms for the summer. Parents are busy making summer plans for camp, vacation, sitters and the pool.

    For some children, school is a great source of structure. Meals are consistently provided, the classroom is an appropriate and comfortable temperature. There are adults there that are kind and care for them. They can play at recess and escape the reality of what's going on at school.

    School is a place of learning - something that is critical in today's society. School is a place where our children meet their friends, explore interests and talents and find mentors that will influence who they become and how they live their lives. School provides consistency and routine; fun and play; growth and development; exposure to others.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    TAG Book Club: A Kid’s Guide to Giving

    May 14, 2013

    A Kids Guide to Giving, by Freddi Zeiler is all about how everyone can get involved and make a difference. It’s a resource book that teaches and informs kids about HOW to give and provides them with the information they need to get started in giving – whether it be through monetary contributions, volunteering, donating good or organizing charity events.

    Easy to read and fun to follow, the book first introduces the ‘why.’ Why should I give? Then, it explores the many different ways you can contribute and how to determine what matters most to you. Designed to inspire kids, the book also provides a reference section filled with information about many nonprofit organizations that might be of interest to children, divided into the categories of people, animals and environment.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: What Can We Do Now?

    May 3, 2013

    We know that there are so many different ways to give. And in many cases our efforts aren't or can’t be spontaneous our impulsive. Getting involved in a movement can involve significant organization and preparation.

    Read More »

April 2013

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Volunteering as a Family: Selecting a Project

    April 30, 2013

    So you’re looking for a way to pull your family together for some meaningful quality time. What next? Here are some tips and ideas to help you and your kids get the most out of your volunteer efforts.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Family Volunteer Vacation

    April 18, 2013

    Is your family considering a summer family vacation? Helping others while traveling in different regions and cultures can offer a new perspective and broader understanding of the needs of others in the world. Plus, it’s a rewarding experience you can share together that will enrich your family and create lasting memories.

    There are numerous services available that can help you explore both domestic and international options and plan your trip, but before you get started, consider these five tips in ensuring you make the most out of your philanthropic family adventure. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: How Can We Help?

    April 12, 2013

    There are lots of ways we can help others and the beautiful thing about giving is that we get to pick how and to whom. We support causes that are important to us.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Monthly Family Give

    April 4, 2013

    If you’re looking for a way to infuse giving into your family’s culture, consider committing as a group to a Monthly Family Give. You can sit down now and plan out the year or decide on your ‘give’ from month to month, just be sure that once you make the commitment you follow through. Before you know it, helping others in your community will become second nature! Here are a few ways your family can come together once a month to help others and get involved in your community:

    Read More »

March 2013

February 2013

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Acts of Kindness

    February 15, 2013

    This week, Random Acts of Kindness Week (#RAKWeek) there was a lot of talk different things we could do for others.

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Charitable Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

    February 12, 2013

    Valentine’s Day is traditionally for sweethearts, but there are a lot of people out there that deserve our appreciation. And others that could probably use a little love. (photo caption: In 2012, CCCF staff delivered treats to the Columbia City Police Department.) There are so many little and big ways anyone – young or old – can help others. Whether it’s through a donation, act or something so simple as holding the door for a stranger and wishing them a good morning.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Taking A Moment to Teach: Turn Passing Conversation Into Meaningful Dialogue

    February 7, 2013

    Quick story: Once, there was a terribly messy little girl. Despite numerous prodding from her mother, she couldn't seem to keep her clothes in the closet or her toys put away. One afternoon, her frustrated mother finally announced: “If your stuff isn't cleaned up by this afternoon, we’re giving it away to other little girls who don’t have the things they need.”

    When the mother came back later to check on her daughter’s progress, she was stunned to see the room clean and bare—and her daughter’s toys, clothes, and books stuffed into big bags. “I have lots of stuff, Mommy,” the daughter explained. “I want to give my things to the kids who don’t have anything.” 

    Read More »

December 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Presents of the Past

    December 20, 2012

    By now, everyone has turned in their list. Santa has his orders and he is now working to pull it all together to ensure that our little ones have a very merry day. Regardless of the occasion, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays or other occasions requiring gifts, there is something magical about providing our children with the objects of their hearts’ desires. (Exemptions include such requests as an R.V., pet penguin or trip to Venus.) And while they’re thrilled when they receive it, in many cases over time, the thrill dissipates and the items that were once the most wonderful, needed items on the earth can now be found at the back of the closet, under the seat in the car, midway through the toy box, or worse, dragged out into the yard by the dog and left in the rain. Or even sometimes, let’s be honest, that wonderful item that they opened 10 minutes ago has been forgotten as soon as they open the next.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: The Many Ways to Give

    December 7, 2012

     When you hear the word 'give,' what images come to mind? For some, it might be financial giving - writing a check or putting money in the offering plate at church. For others, it might be donating gently used clothing, toys and household items that you no longer need but that others could still use. But there's more we can give than just money and things. How about your time? Everyone is really busy these days, especially those with kids. But spending 30 minutes visiting with a lonely elderly neighbor or delivering a meal to family facing an illness can be more valuable to those in need than money. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    Children and Finances: Where to start?

    December 5, 2012

    Authored By Helen Meyers

    Regardless of the age of your kids, from toddlers to teens, it’s never too early or too late to start talking about money. But where to begin? It’s not always intuitive. Here are a few tips to get you in the right frame of mind and steer you in the right direction.

    Read More »

November 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Teens: The Benefits of Volunteering

    November 30, 2012

    Many schools these days are requiring that students complete pre-determined hours of volunteer work in our community. Whether your children are required to volunteer, do so on their own, or you’re interested in offering them a new experience, you can be assured that not only will the community benefit, they will too.

    Read More »

  • Posted by David Laird

    How Your Family Can Help the Hungry

    November 15, 2012

    This week we are observing National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (November 10-18). Hunger is a huge problem and a complicated issue, but we can empower our children to make a difference if we educate them about the issue and provide them with opportunities to help instead of ignoring or attempting to insulate them from the reality of this epidemic issue. One in four children in our state goes to bed hungry at night. It is all around us. Here are some ways you can help and get your family involved in making a difference in the lives of those that are hungry.

    Read More »

October 2012

  • Posted by David Laird

    Make A Difference Day 2012

    October 18, 2012

    Helping others ... Community involvement ... Making a difference ... Instilling these values into our children. These things all sound good, especially the last one, right? Maybe you want these things to be a priority for your family, but you're just not sure how to make that happen. Well, here's your excuse to give it a try: Make A Difference Day - Saturday, October 27, 2012

    Read More »

September 2012

July 2012

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    Perspective on Parenting

    July 25, 2012

    Authored by Julie Smith Turner

    I beat myself up about my mothering capabilities pretty often. I don’t send pictures to grandparents. I am a complete failure at baby books — wait, maybe that’s only a 70 percent failure. I make decisions I regret. I still let them watch too much TV. I raise my voice more often than I would like. I just came from a meeting focused on creating a website for a nonprofit that shelters homeless families. As part of the program these families get a life plan as well. It’s no wonder their success rate is so high. It’s so easy to forget how much my husband and I give our children every day. Not gifts and possessions, but stability, love, responsibility, a home. Luxuries that are beyond the reach of many families in our community. That’s a sobering thought.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Charitable Birthday: Giving Books

    July 16, 2012

    We heard from a Talk About Giving follower today who is interested in hosting a charitable birthday party for her child and collecting new or gently used books in lieu of gifts. So we checked with our resident librarian (yes, we actually have one right here in our office leading the Literacy 2030 initiative!) as to what organizations in the Midlands collect books for children. And when considering this, it's difficult not to pause and reflect on the issue of illiteracy right here in our backyard.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    What Do Your Children Care About?

    July 11, 2012

    Our primary motivation in charitable giving is rooted in making a difference. Whether it’s supporting an institution or organization that is meaningful to us personally, or taking a stand in support of a cause we believe in, the majority of people simply believe in the value of giving. Giving is intrinsically good and right.

    But taking it a step further, we support that which we are passionate. And everyone’s passion is different. Throughout life we are influenced by others and our experiences and as we grow our values evolve.

    In teaching our children about giving, we have a unique opportunity to help them explore their own talents and passions. By talking with our children about what they care about, we can find ways for them to make a difference while learning about a subject near and dear to them. If they care about animals, help them research the different rescue organizations or shelters and select one to share their lemonade sale profits or allowance with. If they’re interested in science look at local science museums or the planetarium and talk about their needs and ways to get involved together.

    Read More »

June 2012

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Question of the Week: Family Activities

    June 29, 2012

     While we have the strongest influence, our kids are impacted by others, too. By their teachers, friends, neighbors -- even your friends, other family members and acquaintances on the playground or school bus. Think back on your childhood. Chances are, you admired a friend's family. Do you remember what it was that you appreciated? While we don't want to get into the habit of comparing ourselves to others - or our family to other families, there are opportunities to learn from the habits of others and your kids might have some good ideas of things you can do together as a family that they've learned from their friends.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Family Influence

    June 25, 2012

    We’re all familiar with the research. The number one influence in a child’s development is home and family. In some ways this is enlightening and in other ways it’s kind of frightening. What we do really does impact our children’s behaviors and habits. From the earliest days, babies follow their parents’ moves, mimic their expressions and respond to their actions. And this influence grows as the child develops cognitively.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Giving and the Next Generation

    June 20, 2012

    If you're reading this blog, chances are you're philanthropic. When we say that, we mean that you give in some way. You value charitable giving.

    The question is, do your children know this? Are your children aware of your efforts? Do they know that helping others or supporting causes that are meaningful is one of your family's values?

    Think about it. Do you discuss your philanthropic giving at home?

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Midlands Families: Fun and Helping - June 2012

    June 18, 2012

    There are so many opportunities for Midlands families to help in our community this summer AND lots of fun activities that your family might want to check-out while everyone is enjoying vacation downtime. Here's what we came across on Twitter and Facebook -- just today.

    What have we missed? Do you have other suggestions for volunteer opportunities for children and families this summer? Or other great ideas or scoop on some fun? Let us know!

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Question of the Week: How Will We Get There?

    June 15, 2012

    While relaxing; summer can be busy too. There’s driving to the mountains, to the beach to the water park. Kids are in camps, going to the pool, sleeping over at Grandma’s. We go to the lake, visit the Zoo, hit the Museum. You might even travel to another state or country.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Fundraising Ideas for Kids

    June 12, 2012

    So your kids come to you and say they want to do a fundraiser for something they care about. In addition to our tips on how to make this happen, here are some simple, short-term fundraising ideas that are manageable for you and will provide your children with a fun, interactive opportunity to make a difference. A few important considerations in selecting your fundraising activity:

    Be sure the activities involved are age appropriate and easy to understand for the children that will be participating. Consider a time limit on how long the fundraising efforts will last. Be sure it’s safe: location, people, actual activities, etc. Make it fun! Complete the give. Be sure to include your children in physically making the donation. Consider having them draw pictures or write a brief paragraph about why they care about that organization and how they raised the funds.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Making Finances Fun: Moneyville at EdVenture

    June 7, 2012

     No matter the age, talking to kids about money can be tough. For many parents, conversation about finances is more daunting than talking about sex and drugs and considered taboo. And, while 80 percent of parents feel that schools should teach students basic money management and budgeting skills1, only seven states require students to demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency in personal finance before graduation from high school2.

    Read More »

May 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Create a Giving Scrap Book

    May 22, 2012

    (Disclaimer: We promise you don’t have to be a hardcore scrap booker, or even mildly crafty for this.)

    Remember when y’all went to the beach last summer with the whole family and how fun it was and how crazy it was when Granddaddy was chased by a sand crab? Or when y’all went to Disney or Carowinds or the S.C. State Fair and rode the rides and ate cotton candy and how you all laughed when that clown accidently spilled a bucket of water on its dog? Or the last day of school last spring and y’all were all out at Field Day and the principal was in the dunking booth?

    Well, thanks to today’s technology and a plethora of ways you can organize and archive memories, it’s likely that these experiences – from daily happenings to big events – are well documented. And what fun is it to pull the scrap book off the shelf for some reminiscing? Kids (and everyone, really) love to relive past fun and what better way to keep memories fresh and feel connected to family, friends and experiences that are sometimes far away?

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Making Realistic Commitments

    May 16, 2012

    Have you ever found yourself in a position where you’ve ‘bitten off a little more than you can chew?’ We’re all probably guilty of it – from making commitments we simply cannot keep to burning-out, losing interest or all-out flaking. Whatever the reason, not following through with a commitment is disappointing and can discourage you from trying again in the future.

    When introducing your family to giving, it's important that we successfully meet our obligations but also have our expectations met. In doing this, you're more likely to create a positive experience that will likely have your children asking for more.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Sharing Our Talent

    May 14, 2012

    Sometimes, opportunities to give are not totally obvious. We talk a lot about giving financially. And we hear about opportunities to volunteer all the time. But what other ways can we help others? What else can we share?

    How about our talent?

    In addition to money and time, nonprofits have specific needs that others can help them with by providing expertise. Children’s ‘expertise’ and interests might change as often as the seasons, but we can help our kids find opportunities to use their talent for the good of others. For many, this form of giving can be extremely rewarding because we’re not only helping those that we care about, we are using our personal skills to do it.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: If You Could Help One

    May 4, 2012

     If you start poking around on the internet looking at the need in your community, it can become a little overwhelming. This week, we were thinking about families that would like to host a Charitable Birthday Party and pulled together a list of Columbia nonprofits that have wish lists of items that party attendees could bring in lieu of a typical party gift. While we at TAG live in the nonprofit world every day, seeing our list of worthy organizations representing urgent needs right here in our backyard caused us to pause. We want to help them ALL!

    Read More »

April 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Five Ways to Do Good from Your Kitchen Table

    April 23, 2012

    It’s Saturday, and it’s raining. In fact, it’s been raining for the last three days straight. Or perhaps it's too hot or too chilly - it was a warm winter, huh? But today it's chilly! Either way, your plans for a day outside, and your kids’ cabin fever might be steadily rising. Everyone has lost interest in watching tv, but it’s still blaring, a steady background to the chorus of brother-and-sisterly bickering.

    We’ve all had days like this. We all know how frustrating it is to watch your kids unravel because they’re bored. The solution? Help your kids shift the focus from themselves to others with a quick “kitchen table project.” Using these everyday moments at home to micro-volunteer is an easy way to do some good and remind your kids what really matters.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Reflection

    April 17, 2012

    Have you ever been part of a book club? You read the book and then get together with some others to reflect. If you haven’t been to a book club, you’ve probably been to a movie with a group and had a discussion about the storyline after viewing. Were you surprised by the different experiences other readers/viewers had? Maybe they noticed details you hadn't or important character traits that you dismissed. Perhaps they picked-up on themes or morals that you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t get it at all, but someone explained the plot or theme in a way that made it clear.

    Read More »

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    Delayed Gratification

    April 9, 2012

    Authored by Helen Meyers

    Perhaps you can relate to these statements:

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Activity: Spring Break Fundraiser

    April 3, 2012

    It’s Spring Break season and many of the children we know are out of school this week. Looking for an activity that’s not only fun, but will motivate and empower your kids to make a difference? Suggest a fundraiser!

    Regardless of the scope of the benefit, whether it’s an afternoon project or a full-scale event, kids will likely need some help and guidance in pulling together a successful fundraiser. Here are some tips in assisting them.

    Read More »

March 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Kids Helping Kids

    March 28, 2012

    Introducing children to community need can be a little daunting. The issues facing our community can be complicated and many parents aren’t sure how to explain these problems in a way that kids can begin to understand and in a manner that won’t scare them.

    At the same time, we want our children to grow into community-minded adults who are aware of the needs of our neighbors. And we want them to know that they have the power to make a difference. So where should we start?

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Influencing Compassion

    March 26, 2012

    For whatever reason, we have a tendency to judge those who are less fortunate or different in some way. And as our society struggles with bullying, we are more and more aware that this starts at an early age.

    Fortunately as parents and mentors we have opportunity to influence our children’s ‘compassion meters’ and there are numerous ways we can do this. Not only will they be better for it, but the world will be a sweeter place. Here are some tips and ideas:

    Point out examples. There are acts of compassion everywhere. Be sure your kids notice! You might see it on TV, in a book or in person. Or maybe someone you know has done something kind for someone else. Tell your children about it. Nip potential false impressions in the bud. All homeless people are not alcoholics. Children whose parents are unable to care for them are just as deserving as we are. Every drug addict is not a bad person. Kids with special needs are not less worthy of our friendship. Feel free to guide your children as they’re formulating their opinions of others.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Helping Others

    March 23, 2012

    Recent research studies published indicate that children (as young as 15 months!) are naturally altruistic and generous. What's even better? Environment plays a role in this, so we do have the power to influence our children and their behaviors in terms of how they think of and treat others. Recognizing need is an important lesson that, if handled properly, can teach a lot about empathy and our ability to make a difference in the life of others. And as parents, grandparents or mentors,  sometimes the trick is helping children understand that recognizing need does not mean judging or thinking of themselves as 'better.' 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    TAG Book Club: Just a Little Bit

    March 14, 2012

    Have you ever felt like the little things you do to help others might not really amount to much? Or maybe you don’t have enough money, enough time, or perhaps you’re just too little to make a difference? We all know these things are not true, because every little bit makes a difference. And we can teach our children that no matter how large or small their donation – and no matter if they volunteer once a year or commit their lives to a cause, their efforts matter and have an impact.

    Just a Little Bit, by Ann Tompert illustrates this and other important lessons when Elephant and Mouse decide to play on the seesaw and need a little help from friends to find a balance. Many help willingly, but there are naysayers in the crowd that don’t believe the group will ever be able to get Elephant off the ground. They work and work, and in the end the contributions of a small beetle are just enough to make all the difference.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Helping the Hungry

    March 12, 2012

    Last week, we caught a segment on Good Day Columbia regarding a recent report published by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) which ranked South Carolina fifth in the nation for food hardship. And if you zero-in on regions, the Columbia area ranks 13th in the nation.  (click the link to see the full report)

    Hunger is a huge problem and a complicated issue, but we can empower our children to make a difference if we educate them about the issue and provide them with opportunities to help instead of ignoring or attempting to insulate them from the reality of this epidemic issue. One in four children in our state goes to bed hungry at night. It is all around us.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Four Creative Ways to Make Family Dinner Happen

    March 5, 2012

    “…There is something about a shared meal--not some holiday blowout, not once in a while but regularly, reliably--that anchors a family even on nights when the food is fast and the talk cheap and everyone has someplace else they'd rather be. And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers, caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this habit.” --- Michael Elins

    The magic of the family dinner. Social scientists have championed it as the answer to your family’s problems for the last thirty years, publishing study after study on the positive impact of family dinners on child development. You know this. We know this. But in today’s busy world, it’s become increasingly harder to corral your family around the kitchen table. Or, if you do gather everyone, it might just be one more thing on your list—hurried through.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Family Talent

    March 2, 2012

    We work hard to help our children realize their talents. We look for their abilities and help them find ways to use and apply them – socially, in education, in future careers. We sign them up for group activities; push them in their studies and nurture hobbies and activities that will build their self esteem. They should be proud of their talent, so we celebrate it. What about our families?

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February 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Finding A Balance

    February 27, 2012

    We recently heard a story about a five-year-old who suggested that her mother use Clorox ‘Veach’ to clean her younger sister’s stained paints. We also know a two-year-old who refused to wear a Pull-Up that didn’t feature Dora the Explorer’s pet monkey, Boots. You see, all the Pull-Ups in the box include Dora, but not all of them include Boots.

    It starts early, and it’s intense. Annually $17 billion is spent by companies advertising to children in the U.S. Children are inundated by messages that tell them what they should want and why. Children are cash-cows for corporations, according to one author and “corporations manipulate consumers, including children, into believing they must have a product or service.” A 2009 study found that children in the U.S. spend one week of their lives each year television advertisements. Throw in the social pressure to have the latest and greatest, and it’s no wonder parents regularly hear, “I want, I want, I want.”

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Get One, Give One

    February 20, 2012

    It’s fun to surprise our kids with special treats or purchase them new items. The latest action figure for your seven-year-old. A fun new pair of earrings for your teenage daughter. A new basketball or catcher’s mitt for your athlete. There are probably others that like to spoil your children a little as well. Like grandparents, aunts, uncles and close family friends.

    Instead of just filling up drawers and toy boxes with more stuff, there’s actually an opportunity in each gift or new item received to encourage appreciation and generosity if you employ a ‘Get One, Give One” policy in your household. And with this policy, there’s opportunity to survey that which we have and take stock on what we still appreciate. Does this sound like a dream come true?

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: How is our Money Used?

    February 17, 2012

    As you probably know, the Susan G. Komen Foundation recently caused quite a stir. We are certainly not here to debate their decision(s) or the fall-out(s), but in reading responses to articles and social media postings over the past week, it is evident that many of us are not completely aware of how the nonprofits we support use the money we donate or raise on their behalf. It’s important to do your homework before supporting charities to ensure that your money is being used appropriately and in support of initiatives that you intend to be part of. For adults this can obviously involve significant financial investigation and vetting, however there are activities and discussions children can participate in to increase their awareness of what they are supporting and understand the importance of being sure our money is used well.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Acts of Kindness

    February 13, 2012

    If you grew up in the South, or if you have a Southern grandmother or friend, you might have received a sercy at some point in your life. Sercies can be better than birthday presents. More exciting than Christmas. Because a sercy is a special treat for no reason at all. It’s just a little present or act of kindness just because. Like a special trip to the park, a bag of your favorite candy or dessert, a little something that they saw and just knew you would love, a warm deed just for you.

    “Those best parts of a good life: little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” --William Wordsworth

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Sharing the Love

    February 8, 2012

    Valentine’s Day is next week. The kids have probably picked out the treats and cards they’ll share with their friends. Maybe you’ve picked out a little something special for them, too. Perhaps your family will share a special meal next Tuesday evening. It’s the perfect time to bake some pink sugar cookies. Red, heart napkins might be included in lunch boxes. You might spend some time gluing white paper doilies to construction paper hearts for grandparents.

    Read More »

January 2012

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Giving The Gift of Giving

    January 23, 2012

    New Year, new traditions. We've been talking about ways we can enrich our children’s giving experiences and introduce them to the world of helping others. Charitable birthdays have been a favorite, but what about other children in our lives that we love and care about? Your son’s bff since preschool, your best friend’s daughter, your godchild, niece/nephew, grandchild, neighbor, college roommate’s kid, etc. While it might not be our responsibility to rear these children, we might play a significant role in their lives – and in their families. It takes a village, right? And we do have a responsibility to positively influence children that are part of our lives. Think about the adults that you looked up to when you were a child. Who were they and what did you learn from them? Think about the children in your life that look up to you.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Where Should I Give My Birthday?

    January 18, 2012

    So you’re thinking about planning a Charitable Birthday for your kiddo(s) this year but not sure what nonprofit would be appropriate to support?

    To help, we’ve pulled together a list* of Midlands, SC-area** nonprofits for your consideration that provide wish lists on their websites. Items requested range from art supplies to snacks to cleaning products to linens to baby food. There are so many options!

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Five Ways to Encourage Big Dreams

    January 16, 2012

    "I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream." - Martin Luther King, Jr. Dreams are like roadmaps. Like plans that will lead us where we wish to go, change we desire to see and shape whom we become. As parents, we can help our children contemplate their dreams, what they wish for in life and what they care for most. Naturally, these dreams will be modified in time. What your five-year-old dreams of today might be different when she is eight. But providing our children with an environment where they can flourish and dream – and dream big – will increase their chances of dreaming big when it really counts.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Why Donations of Every Size Count

    January 9, 2012

    Chances are, you are a philanthropist. We’ve already established this. Personal wealth certainly is not a requirement for philanthropy and you don’t need have a family foundation or give so much that you receive fantastic tax credits to make a big difference. In fact, did you know that individuals make up 75 percent of giving in America? Did you also know that the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans account for only 25 percent of all charitable giving? Taking it a step further, when calculated as a percentage of income, those who earn less than $20,000 become twice as charitable as those who earn $100,000.

    Read More »

December 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Helping During the Holidays

    December 12, 2011

    For many, the holiday season represents a time of giving – giving gifts, giving thanks and giving back. Perhaps this year, as you’ve plinked through your shopping list of goodies and threatened your children with coal and switches, you've wondered how your family could do more for others and how you can offer your children a lesson about the needs of your community.

    Too stressed to fit it in or worried it’s too late? Well, think again.  There are lots of simple things you and your family can do to help make the holidays happier for those in need in our community*. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: What Could We Do Without?

    December 9, 2011

    Every so often, we come across a story or statistics specific to the Midlands that just stop us in our tracks. A moment such as this occurred last Sunday when we read this disturbing article in The State regarding poverty in Richland and Lexington Counties. While the article in its entirety is saddening and surprising, what really took us aback were the statistics regarding children right here in our backyard. If you missed the article, we’re sorry to be the one to tell you that about 25 percent of the children attending schools in Richland 1, Lexington 2, 3 and 4 districts live below poverty. Ouch. This reminded of us of another article published this summer that indicated every school in Richland 1 has at least one homeless student.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    TAG Holiday Gift Guide - 2011!

    December 5, 2011

    At Talk About Giving, we read a lot. We research, follow blogs and keep up with news on a variety of subjects that have to do with philanthropy, children and families. While reviewing our notes and considering the upcoming holiday season we realized that over the past year, we've come across some really neat items that might be the perfect presents for your little – or not so little – philanthropists.

    Gifts that educate and inspire giving. What could be better? So here are some of our favorites. If you have others, we'd LOVE to hear about them!

    Happy Giving!

    Read More »

November 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Small Sacrifices, Big Impact

    November 30, 2011

    For more than a year now, experts have been saying that the Great Recession is over. That might be true, but its effects continue to linger. Maybe linger is too light a word. How about hang over us. Lurk around every corner. Keep us up at night.  While South Carolina’s unemployment rate has improved by half a percent recently, we still maintain the fifth highest in the country. Nearly 15 percent of South Carolina households regularly struggle to put food on the table and five percent regularly hold back or cut meals, including children.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: That Giving Feeling

    November 18, 2011

    With the holidays sitting right before us, it's the season of giving - and in many ways for our kids, the season of getting. Christmas lists are being prepared and Santa will be available for conversations regarding our wishes very soon. It's exciting - there's so much we NEED:  A new bike. Clothes for our American Girl Dolls. Designer jeans. The latest iPhone, Xbox, tablet. In the midst of all the hubbub, many families make an effort to come together as a group and do something for others during this season and there are so many different opportunities available at this time of year.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Making the Commitment – Philanthropy Day 2011

    November 16, 2011

     Maybe you've been mulling it over. Yes, you want to raise generous children. Yes, you’re concerned about the future of our community. You value the act of helping others and supporting causes that are meaningful. You see the significance in ensuring that your kids understand the value of a dollar, the importance of helping others, and that they develop compassionate hearts. You’re just not sure where to start?

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    What's Your Family's Legacy?

    November 9, 2011

     Perhaps you read or saw in the news yesterday or today that Riverbanks Zoo and Garden recently received its largest bequest in its 37-year history. An unrestricted gift of $863,000 from Melinda Poole Grizzell, a Lexington resident who moved to the Midlands about 20 years ago and passed away earlier this year. It's an incredibly generous gift and the Zoo and our community will benefit greatly. But while reading the news articles online last night, it wasn’t the size of the gift that struck a chord with me; but the underlying theme of legacy.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Question of the Week: Recognizing Our Strengths

    November 4, 2011

    Alright. We don’t want to completely over-inflate our children and there is some new research that indicates that too much praise is not good for them, but there is a big difference between praise and personally recognizing our strengths and what we can do with them. For kids, sometimes this is not as black and white as it is for adults and we can help our children in exploring just what it is that they’re really good at and help them recognize ways they can use these gifts. Obviously, it feels good to be good at something. It’s healthy for a kid’s self-esteem. And while we know that our children are perfect, the reality is that they're going to have strengths and weaknesses. Understanding our strengths illustrates to us how we are unique and as parents we can help our children take the lesson a step further. How can these gifts be applied for good? 

    Read More »

October 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Question of the Week: Talking About Hunger

    October 21, 2011

     Sesame Street recently aired its primetime special, Growing Hope Against Hunger. This one-hour segment aimed to raise awareness of the epidemic issue of hunger in the United States. If you missed it or your child didn't make it through the whole hour, check out the short highlight video below. For those of us who have never gone without, it's difficult to imagine either not knowing where your next meal will come from or how you're going to feed your children. Sesame Street addresses the national statistics, but how about right here in South Carolina?

    Read More »

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    The Modern Piggy Bank

    October 19, 2011

    Authored by Helen Meyers

    Thinking back on your own childhood … do you remember your piggy bank? It was probably a round pig, with one hole in the top to plink your coins into. Didn’t you just love the way it sounded when the coin hit the bottom? Or how you felt when you shook out all the coins to count them? So your old piggy bank taught you two lessons: saving and spending. But what about the other crucial pieces of the financial puzzle: investing and sharing? Why not introduce these four concepts at the same time?

    Read More »

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    An Open Letter to She Who Inspired Our “Talk About Giving” Movement, Maria Shriver

    October 12, 2011

    Authored by Cathy Monetti

    Dear Maria, It’s funny how one little thing leads to another slightly bigger thing and then another, bigger still. One night in 2005, I sat alone in my bedroom watching a previously recorded Oprah episode. There you were, being interviewed alongside your mother, Eunice Shriver. Enough years have passed that I can’t remember specific details, but you shared a story about growing up in a home in which there were photos of people you never met in your dining room, where conversation centered on how to help those people, who were in need. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Recent Studies Indicate Altruism in Babies, Toddlers

    October 11, 2011

    Two recent studies provide new evidence that most children are naturally altruistic. While levels and understanding of generosity changes as children mature and a new link to a specific gene can effect just how giving a person may be, positive reinforcement can help cultivate these values and behaviors. When to start? Possibly earlier than you might think.

    One study published last week by Plos One found that we might actually understand the concepts of altruism and fairness much earlier than thought. In the study, there was a correlation between the subjects (age 15 months) that were willing to share their favorite toy and those that perceived the difference between equal and unequal rations of food. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Five Practical Ways to Encourage Change

    October 5, 2011

    Recent studies and reports have confirmed that this generation is more self-absorbed and this consumer culture more materialistic than ever before—but then, if you’re a parent, these facts are probably no surprise to you. Today’s kids could probably tell you what brand of jeans Justin Bieber wears, but most wouldn’t have a clue about the nonprofit organizations their parents support. Because we want our children to become responsible and charitable managers of money when they are adults, we commit to teaching them. And yet, amid our busy everyday lives, it’s not always intuitive and sometimes hard to know just how to begin. 

    Read More »

September 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Jumpstart with a Giving Challenge

    September 29, 2011

    Whether philanthropy has been a part of your family’s regular habits or you’re interested in incorporating it into your lifestyle for the first time, coming together for a Jumpstart Giving Challenge can really get everyone’s ‘giving’ juices flowing and offer a taste (or reminder) of how it feels to help others – it will likely get you all coming back for more.

    Not sure where to start? Include the kids from the very beginning and try following these steps to make the best of your Jump Start Giving Challenge. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Raising Kindness

    September 27, 2011

    While kindness is an intrinsic value, today’s world sends our children all sorts of conflicting messages about compassion, empathy and how we should treat others. And along with that natural tendency for kindness, small children are also naturally self-centered, making it difficult to understand that our needs are not more important than others.

    As parents, we can foster kind and compassionate behavior in our children and influence the natural tendency with which our children consider others. Here are six tips to help guide you in bringing out the best in them. 

    Read More »

  • Posted by CCCF Guest

    A New Tradition: Give Away Your Birthday

    September 21, 2011

    Authored by Julie Smith Turner

    I never knew one of the most difficult things you face as a parent is giving your children too much. But the signs are everywhere in our house. The bedrooms have toys. The living room has toys. The family room has toys. Even the bathtub has toys.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Talking to Kids About Poverty, Hunger

    September 14, 2011

    Last night, the leading stories on the national news focused on two disturbing issues: the growing number of Americans living in poverty and the harrowing drought and famine facing countries in Africa. The news paints real pictures of families that could live right down the street from you, struggling to find work and keep their homes come to mind. And of starving families who have lost their homes and face cholera, measles. Dying by the numbers every day.

    Thinking about these issues from a child’s perspective – putting myself into the shoes of a young person – Kit Kittredge, a young, depression-era character comes to mind. The day her father lost his job at the car dealership and had to leave home to find work … when her mother began renting out rooms in their house and how Kit felt about her family selling eggs from the backyard to help make ends meet. Or memories of singing ‘We Are The World’ in my fourth grade music class at Hammond School – 10,000 miles away from Africa and the devastation facing millions. While I didn’t really understand what was happening there, it was clear that it was bad and that a bunch of people were coming together to help. Still, the affects of being told to eat my peas because there were starving children in Africa wore off quickly.

    Read More »

August 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Disaster Preparation: More Than Checking the Flashlight Batteries

    August 26, 2011

    It’s been a weird week. We’ve been watching (some call it stalking) a hurricane’s projected path closely. We here in the Midlands definitely dodged a bullet when Irene decided to track northeast, but that’s no consolation for our friends in North Carolina and upward to the northeast. We felt an earthquake all the way down here in South Carolina, were amazed by the long distance the tremors traveled and seriously thought about whether or not we, and the rest of the east coast, are prepared for something bigger. Disaster recovery is something we’re all familiar with. We were all humbled by the outpouring support  when earthquakes brought Haiti and Japan to their knees. Or this spring when areas of Missouri and Alabama were ravaged by tornadic destruction. Giving is as easy as a text from your mobile phone. We even know someone that made a $25 donation to the Hope For Haiti telethon and got to speak with Quincy Jones.

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Planning a Charitable Birthday Party

    August 10, 2011

    How many birthday parties did you take your kids to last weekend? It’s possible that you lost count. Nevertheless, celebrating birthdays is a very big part of growing up. Wearing your new birthday outfit, surrounded by all your friends at your favorite pool/pizza place/gymnasium/bouncy ball house/horse stable/tree house, etc. OH and all the presents! What could be more thrilling?

    Teaching our children that giving gifts is just as great as receiving is sometimes a tough lesson that falls on little deaf ears. But once they grasp the concept, the lesson may last a lifetime. So instead of filling your child’s already overstuffed toybox, consider making the next birthday party more meaningful by planning a Charitable Birthday Party. Here are some steps and ideas to help you:

    Read More »

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Engage Your Children – Play the Talk About Giving Game!

    August 2, 2011

    Unless you’re a child development specialist, raising children is not always intuitive. And even the experts experience situations with their own kids that leave them wondering if they handled things the right way. For many of us, teaching our kids about giving is no different. Where to begin? How do you instill generosity into their developing spirits and make philanthropy a part of their value system? Research indicates that actively engaging your children about how and why we should give yields more generous, empathetic children, but how do we start the conversation and maintain it, keeping it fresh, interesting and relevant?

    Read More »

July 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Raising Generous Children

    July 28, 2011

    There are many varying names for the different generational groups that came along after the Baby Boomers – Generation X, Generation Y, the Millenials, Generation Z, Generation@. Regardless of the name and the many positive traits these different groups possess, we’ve all heard a few negative descriptions applied to all of them, such as spoiled, entitled, self righteous and selfish. 

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Bringing Your Family Together For Good

    July 21, 2011

    What works for other families might not work for yours. In fact, what works for one of your kids might not work at all for another of your kids. Everyone is different. This is probably one of the first lessons you learned about being a parent—and the philosophy is no different when you’re seeking to include philanthropy in your family’s conversation. While some kids might be totally motivated to make a difference in the community after a serious family discussion on the moral obligation of giving, others would rather get behind a family volunteer day at a local nonprofit.

    It’s important to encourage each of your children in their individual philanthropic interests, but you should also look for ways to make giving a shared value that brings your family together. Writing a charitable mission statement is a great way to unite your family around your commitment to giving.  You can tailor this activity to your family’s varying ages and interests. Does your eight-year-old daughter love to draw? Let her make a poster of your mission statement. Maybe your thirteen-year-old is a budding entrepreneur? Let him give your family “foundation” a name.

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Today's Challenges and the Next Generation: Passing on the Legacy of Giving

    July 20, 2011

    It’s always eye opening to see your own state, city or a community nearby referenced in the national news. Yesterday, while perusing the Chronicle of Philanthropy I happened upon a news brief from a larger USA Today article entitled ‘Youth Programs Hit as States Cut Budgets.’ Looking a little closer, the Boys and Girls Club of Beaufort, SC was one of several examples used to illustrate how youth organizations across the country are scaling back services, shedding employees and in some cases, shutting down due to cuts in funding.

    And we all know that it’s not just youth programs in small towns like Beaufort that are affected. With the Great Recession still looming, we’re seeing an increase in need and a decrease in funding to support services. We recently blogged about the increase in family homelessness in the Midlands and the financial issues local nonprofits such as Harvest Hope Food Bank and The Family Shelter are facing. And these are just a few examples of growing problems that need to be addressed and shrinking budgets that need to be subsidized. We’re in a pickle that is likely to get worse before it gets better; and a big part of the solution is going to have to be you and me.

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    Community Concern: Family Homelessness in the Midlands

    July 6, 2011

    If you saw The State this past weekend you might have noticed several references to family homelessness, a rising issue facing the Midlands. It was surprising to learn that in the past four years the state of South Carolina has seen a 46 percent increase in homeless students in public schools. Even more shocking: every school in Richland District One has at least one homeless student. And it’s not an issue unique to our backyard.  According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, families and children are among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population.

    Read More »

May 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Balancing Consumerism with Philanthropy

    May 26, 2011

    Raising the next generation of philanthropists means we have to do more than simplyteach them to give—we have to impart our value system for responsible resource management. Our kids should learn a healthy respect for the power of money—to do good or bad. In our increasingly materialistic and narcissistic society, it has become especially important to teach philanthropy and civic responsibility.

    Experts believe that consumerism is more prevalent than ever before. “Commercialism has never permeated society like this before,” says psychologist Susan Linn, co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are exposed to 40,000 ads every year. For young children who lack the ability to distinguish between program content and advertising, these commercials heavily influence the early development of their consumer ideals. Just take your six-year-old grocery shopping with you next time—does he ask for the plain cereal box or the one featuring his favorite cartoon character? 

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    So Much to Learn at Riverbanks Zoo - How About Giving?

    May 19, 2011

    When you roll towards Columbia on southbound I-77 you might notice the funny billboard in the Blythewood area featuring a tiger with a big “#1” foam finger on his paw. With ‘Best Of’ accolades from nearly every local publication, including one from Charlotte Parent, and regular honors from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, it’s not surprising that Riverbanks Zoo is the state’s number one attraction. Lucky for you, Talk About Giving is giving away four tickets to the Zoo this Family Fun Friday! Just visit our Facebook page and click the Family Fun Friday tab on the left for the Question of the Week. Respond for a chance to win!

    Visitors come from all over to enjoy the more than 2,000 animals, natural habitat exhibits and entertaining and educational opportunities offered by our nationally ranked Zoo and Botanical Garden. And not only is Riverbanks a favorite place for your family to see the animals, the Zoo is actively involved in a wide array of conservation and care efforts here regionally and internationally. So much goes on behind the scenes, and there are opportunities for us and our children to learn and get involved.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    South Carolina State Museum: Highly Ranked and Right in Your Backyard

    May 12, 2011

    People who don’t live in Columbia are always amazed to learn about all the great activities the Midlands offers. And, we can tell you that many states do not have anything like the South Carolina State Museum. What child doesn’t look forward to a field trip to the museum? School groups come from all over the state to enjoy its offerings. And what family isn’t excited to spend a day together there? What a great weekend outing! Through innovative partnerships, comprehensive collections (everything and more than you can hope to learn in third grade S.C history), and stimulating exhibits (have you SEEN Animal Grossology!?) and programs (on Saturday, May 14th there’s a great lecture on The Mystery of the H.L. Hunley), The S.C. State Museum provides educational environments that entertain, insppire imagination and creativity, and enrich the lives of its visitors. Did you know that it was voted one of the three top museums by Southeastern readers of Southern Living magazine, along with the High Museum in Atlanta and the Smithsonian Institution? Impressive. And it's right in our backyard.

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Columbia’s Shop Tart Talks About Giving

    May 11, 2011

    We’re all working hard to raise well-adjusted, well-behaved and well-mannered kids that share, play fair and respect others. A lot of the time we feel like we’re on the right track … but everyone has those moments where we question our efforts. The Shop Tart describes one perfectly – and chances are you can recollect a similar moment in your household. How nice to know we’re not alone.

    Similarly, like our friend the Shop Tart who has all the best advice about where to find what and what’s going on in town, most of us enjoy nice things, good food and fun. We want our children to have the best – a solid education, inviting home, fun toys and cute clothes. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But we also want our children, like Matthew and McKenzie featured below, to appreciate what they have and recognize what’s most important in life.

    Like everything else, they won’t know unless we tell them. They won’t learn if we don’t teach them. They won’t see unless we show them. Talk About Giving is here to help!

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April 2011

  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Report Says Children Are Clueless about Charitable Giving

    April 29, 2011

    There are probably many words we hope will describe our children when they become adults: confident, ethical, happy, responsible. And, according to research, 90 percent of us also want our children to be charitable. Giving exemplifies kindness, compassion, sharing, and empathy—traits we work hard to instill in our children as they grow toward adulthood. However, while we teach our kids to work hard, respect others, earn good grades (among a multitude of other life lessons), research reveals that we don’t teach them how to give.

    A recent report found that a shocking 77 percent of children under the age of 17 are either totally unaware that their parents give charitably, or they are clueless about how and to whom their parents give. When asked about how their parents support causes or organizations, only 10 percent knew that their parents give money, and the overwhelming majority (64 percent) had no idea. Raising charitable children—children who will grow up to be caring, generous adults who make a difference in their world—is important to us. So where is the message getting lost?

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  • Posted by Kristin Williamson

    New Study Says Parental Influence Impacts a Child’s Future Philanthropy

    April 25, 2011

    Our children will be the next generation of everyday philanthropists. They’ll be the ones who ensure that the homeless are cared for, cancer research is funded, deserving students go to college. They will step up to make their world a better place because they’ve seen their parents do it. In fact, researchers have recently confirmed that our children are listenting to us - and their future charitable decisions are being shaped by what we do and say today.

    Heart of the Donor, a study of how Americans interact with nonprofit organizations released this March, found that parental influence was a major factor in determining future charitable activities and nonprofit giving. Children whose parents modeled volunteering and philanthropy and/or talked about their reasons for charitable behavior are over 125 percent more likely to become involved philanthropically as adults. “Nonprofits can encourage today’s donors to talk to their children about giving and volunteering, model the behavior, and share the experience with them,” said Lisa McIntyre, who was an integral part of the study.  “The data clearly shows that when these things are done, it has a long-lasting effect on kids.”

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  • Posted by Talk About Giving

    Are We Giving Our Children What Matters?

    April 20, 2011

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     Whether you realize it or not, most of us are philanthropic. On average, 84 percent of Americans give and more than 75 percent of philanthropic gifts are made by individuals and families. It’s a big part of our culture and we give because we feel it’s the right thing to do. Giving is a value that exemplifies kindness, compassion, sharing and empathy – traits that we look for as today’s youngsters grow into tomorrow’s leaders. And the benefits of raising charitable children are immeasurable, both to them personally and to the future of our communities. But are we teaching them? When’s the last time you had a conversation with your children about the organizations that you support financially? Are they included when you decide who you will support and why? Do your children know why giving is important to you and your family?

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Stories of Philanthropy