Part I: Getting the Kids Involved- Why

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This post marks the first post of a three part series on how to get kids involved in doing good.

Think about one of our favorite types of news stories: seeing young kids championing causes to help others. Whether it’s a young boy with a passion for dogs who’s out selling lemonade to fund a rescued dog’s medical needs, or it’s a young girl giving toys to other kids in a hospital so they won’t feel alone. Seeing kids live outside of themselves, for the good of others, is awe inspiring.

Kids have huge hearts. Yeah, they can be difficult. I have two young ones, including a toddler who is CONSTANTLY testing her limits and my patience, so I get it. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but neither are we. What I am saying is that they love in a way that is so pure it makes everything worth it. Why wouldn’t you want somebody, with a heart like that, championing your cause?

Sometimes as organizations we can be a little hesitant to get kids involved. It can feel like a lot of work with little pay off. Or if we do get them involved, it’s because we’re giving something to them or doing something for them. They’re seldom the ones who are doing good. I’m here to tell you though, it is important and there are lots of good ways to get kids involved. By involved, I mean contributing. When we teach kids to take ownership of creating a positive world, those kids grow into adults with a passion for good. It’s good for kids, it’s good for our communities, plus it can be hugely beneficial for your organization.

Kids are passionate. When we put the right expectations on them, they will over deliver in what they provide for our causes. The key is finding something that is appropriate to their ability level.

I think that’s where a lot of organizations misstep is that they look to kids as regular volunteers and that doesn’t work well. Don’t give a 12 year old the same responsibilities you would give a 65 year old. Of course that won’t work. When I talking about getting kids involved in a meaningful way, I’m talking about doing it through a programming and marketing lens.

Creating programs that get kids involved is a different way to introduce a new audience to your mission because you don’t only have the kids, you have their families as well. When you create partnerships to help reach kids, you also gain a new audience with the organization you’re partnering with.

You can get kids as young as elementary school age involved. Shocking, I know. Those aren’t normally a group people think to target, but you can and you should. Why wouldn’t you want more people to learn about your mission and your cause and what you do to make the world a better place? Also, why wouldn’t we want more kids empowered to change the world for good? Get these kids involved!

If you have the manpower and appropriate work to create volunteer programs for young kids, even better. It’s notoriously hard for teens to get jobs, so you can really help your community by giving kids an opportunity at a young age to volunteer so they can build up some credible experience. Market it as some type of job training through volunteerism and work with schools to get it out.

If you’re someone who is working to create more good in this world, I’m telling yah... get kids involved. Here’s a few bullets of why you should consider getting kids involved:

  • Getting kids involved in doing good and thinking of others means when they become adults they will be more apt to help people and doing good.

  • Giving kids the tools to empower them to make changes in the world sends them a powerful message.This post marks the first post of a three part series on how to get kids involved in doing good

  • Getting kids involved with causes near and dear to your heart is how you grow a future of passionate advocates.

  • Getting kids involved grows your audience because that also means you’re getting the adults in their lives involved.

  • People like to see kids getting involved. When people see you helping kids take action, and kids helping causes they care about, people respond.

  • Bonus: getting kids involved will help you focus your message. A lot of the times we make our message way too complicated, when, in reality, our message should be clear enough that a 3rd grader could understand it.

Giving kids the opportunity to get involved is a huge. Getting kids involved might mean a little more work, but it’s worth it. You will probably have to coordinate with adults and, depending on the age and project, kids will need varying levels of support, but I promise you, when it’s done right, the extra work pays off.

In the next posts in this series I will talk about how you can actually get kids involved (even the young ones). Be on the lookout for that next week. See you then, Do-Gooders! And until then, start thinking about how having kids involved in your organization could benefit you.