Philanthropy is broadly defined as the “love of humanity”. In today’s modern world, philanthropy usually involves creating initiatives and businesses that are solely engaged in improving the quality of life for the general public. Charity work could be classed as a form of philanthropy too.
Notable philanthropic businesses include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Many global businesses will operate a philanthropic sector to try and improve our world and the people who their company directly affects. Moreover, many celebrities and wealthy individuals will use their influence and finances for the betterment of mankind.
Whilst this is fantastic, there is one group of people who we often overlook for philanthropy – our youth. This article looks at why philanthropy matters in our younger generations. Furthermore, it also looks at how we can make this work and create things such as youth and philanthropy initiatives.
Take care of the younger generations today, for a better tomorrow
The main point to remember is that in years to come, the younger generation will run this world. This is why it is important to mold them into responsible and caring human beings today. It is our duty to instill pride, caring and a love of humanity – philanthropy is a great way to do this.
Improve empathy to push long-term change
Philanthropy helps improve our empathy. By working for charitable causes, we can see why change is needed. For example, if you volunteer at a soup kitchen, you can see the struggle homeless people face on a daily basis. By engaging in philanthropic endeavors, the younger generation can improve their empathy too. They can start to see real world problems and understand why this type of work is beneficial for everyone. This, in turn, can help promote long term change – as younger people mature, they will take their insight with them into their careers.
Develop the next generation of leaders
Philanthropy will also help develop a new generation of leaders who will drive our nations forward. Involving young adults in this type of activity will build many vital skills. It will help improve teamwork, confidence, and compassion – these are all desirable qualities that will make the younger generations into well-rounded human beings. These are the type of people we want in positions of power and running governments. Youngsters who have a deep appreciation of humanity and understand how they can make a change.
Maintain healthy economic growth
Involving youngsters in philanthropic causes will also push forward economies and promote steady growth. In many countries, philanthropy accounts for a decent percentage of total GDP – in Canada for example, charities and non-profit organizations account for 8% of the country’s total GDP. By continuing to push youngsters towards charitable work, this sector can continue to grow and play a major role in a countries development.
In short, promoting philanthropy among youngsters can help shift responsibility and development from the older generations to the young. This will ensure the continuing development of our global society and carry on the hard work we have already completed.
How can we push youth philanthropy forward and create positive change?
One of the best ways to promote youth philanthropy is to encourage them to become involved in initiatives and organizations. Throughout the world there is a myriad of enterprises specifically created for youth philanthropy:
- Youth and Philanthropy Initiative
- Young Philanthropy
- City Philanthropy
- The Young Philanthropists
These are just a few examples. Each of these organizations actively encourages young people to get involved in philanthropic activities. Aside from organizations such as this, we should actively educate youngsters about the importance of charitable works and why they matter. Maybe philanthropic studies should be a part of education and included within curriculums?
Moreover, we should just give youngsters the chance to get involved – this is key. If a young adult can’t easily find a philanthropic organization or volunteer for charitable work, how can they ever make a contribution and see the benefits? They must also be allowed to actually take responsibility and be given the chance to show their skills and ideas. By involving youngsters, our philanthropic causes can grow and expand as a result.
As you can see, youth philanthropy really does matter. Firstly it helps to improve our younger generation’s culture, outlook, and respect for humanity. Secondly, it will help continue the hard work older generations have already put in. Thirdly, it will contribute to the betterment of society for many years to come. This is why it is important to invest in projects such as the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative. By doing so, we can ensure our younger generations can get involved in charitable causes and start making a difference today.
Emily Watts is both a writer and a philanthropist. In her spare time, she helps students with essay writing. She is also passionate about charitable causes and works with several organizations.