We are forever pushing our children to become entrepreneurs, to start and run their own businesses. We encourage this because we believe it is good for our children as individuals, and good for the Black community. Entrepreneurism is all about becoming financially independent, and building wealth and assets.

What we don’t always remember is the value of teaching our children to be philanthropists. In fact, very few of us use this word. We speak instead of giving back, being a blessing to others, and caring for our neighbors. Philanthropists do all those things: they give their time, talent, and treasure (including money). As individuals they can be catalysts, and collectively their work can be transformational.

Philanthropy also includes strategy. As philanthropists, children can examine what is important to them, and uncover the different ways they can make an impact. For example, a young person may be emotionally touched by seeing children in their class who are sick and cannot come to school all the time. They may wonder about the homeless family they see sleeping in a car, or the line for food at church or a community center. A friend who comes out as LGBTQ may inspire them to create a more accepting school environment. An aunt living with HIV may catalyze their efforts to help others living with the disease.

Read the full article about raising your children to become philanthropists by Mel and Pearl Shaw at Saad and Shaw.