“Never estimate what children can do,” said both Kevin Salwen and Jenny Yancey in the workshop—Charting Their Course: Raising the Next Generation of Givers. Salwen and Yancey’s teenage children demonstrated how true this is by presenting two incredibly creative and effective philanthropic projects.
Few youngsters can convince their parents to sell their homes and use half the proceeds to make a difference in the lives of the neediest. But that’s just what Hannah Salwen did. Her family’s story was shared with workshop participants and is available in her father’s new book, The Power of Half. It’s an incredible story and one that should inspire serious conversations between young people and their parents.
Weezie Yancey-Siegel’s work continues to evolve through the programs and tools she and her parents created on their Youth Give website. The family’s online products and curricula are designed to guide young people through an exploration of how they might use their time, talents and treasures. Youth Give is a resource for parents too; it offers language parents can use when talking to children about human needs, nonprofit organizations and what families can do to provide solutions.
Susan Price of the National Center for Family Philanthropy served as the industry expert on the workshop panel and emphasized that preparing the next generation begins with family conversations aimed at building awareness and allowing young people to find their passions. She emphasized the importance of service learning as part of the journey so that young people can understand the importance of addressing the root causes of social needs and not rush to “band aid” solutions. Finally, Susan underscored the advice given by Kevin and Jenny: “Give your children choices, but empower them to take action as young philanthropists.”
Special thanks goes to the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation’s Lisa Parker for designing an informative and important workshop.
Sam Davis is the principal at The Davis Group.