Study shows that more than 80% of parents find success in modeling philanthropic behavior for their children—growing the next generation of givers

Parents participate in charitable activities more frequently than adults without children, with many reporting an increase in their annual giving after having kids 


BOSTON, November 14, 2023 – A new study released today by Fidelity Charitable®, an independent public charity and the nation’s largest grantmaker, shows that children are following in their parents’ charitable footsteps, with 81% of parents who give reporting that their children under age 18 also participated in a charitable activity in the past year. Additionally, the more than two-thirds (69%) of parents who give report greater participation than nonparents in charitable activities, such as giving, volunteering, and donating products.

Parenting and Philanthropy: Growing the Next Generation of Givers surveyed nearly 1,500 parents and nonparents, examining giving behaviors among parents and their children and how becoming a parent changes the attitude of a giver. The data found that after people start families, philanthropy becomes a higher priority than before having children, with 60% of parents who give identifying as “committed givers” who have performed one of many giving activities within the last year. This is also associated with parents supporting different types of organizations than they did before becoming parents. 

Having children increases the importance of philanthropy in parents’ lives and influences how they give.

  1. Sixty-nine percent of parents give, and 54% of these givers say that parenting increased the priority of giving in their lives.
  2. Forty-seven percent of parents who give support very different or fairly different types of organizations than they did prior to having children, including a greater focus on causes related to their children’s education and activities.
  3. Sixty-two percent of parents who give also talk to their kids about giving, either through planned or spontaneous conversation—and actively engage them in planning, giving, and volunteering.

While all parents expressed interest in passing down the values of kindness, empathy, and generosity through giving, parent-giving activity directly translates into an increase in participation among their children. Philanthropic parents report their children under age 18 engaged in a range of activities in the last year:

  • 59%, volunteering
  • 58%, giving directly
  • 51%, purchasing products to donate
  • 43%, making a financial donation to a nonprofit

“With all the pressure on parents today in raising children, it is inspiring to see that parents are finding time to model generosity for their children, which we believe will translate into this next generation continuing the American tradition of philanthropy,” said Amy Pirozzolo, head of marketing at Fidelity Charitable®. “We encourage every family to make a practice of generosity a part of their tradition, and there are so many easy ways to do this—especially around the holidays. Not only does it strengthen families, but also our communities.”

In addition to its findings, the report highlights five ways to initiate a family giving tradition by embracing shared values:

  1. Share your giving stories and commit to action together.
  2. Create a charity “registry” or sign-up sheet for family members to buy and bring an item from a favorite nonprofit’s wish list—if possible, arrange a time to deliver the items together.
  3. Complete an in-home service project, such as packaging care kits for cancer patients.
  4. Volunteer as a group—and gather afterward to discuss the experience.
  5. Give together by choosing a cause or charity for your family to support as one. 

For more findings from the research, view the full data here.

About Fidelity Charitable

Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that has helped donors support more than 382,000 nonprofit organizations with nearly $73 billion in grants. Established in 1991, Fidelity Charitable is rooted in innovation, from its launch of the first national donor-advised fund program to its facilitation of difficult-to-donate assets to its tech-forward giving platform. The mission of the organization is to grow the American tradition of philanthropy by providing programs that make charitable giving accessible, simple, and effective. For more information about Fidelity Charitable, visit

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