Kids have started many charities which have come to be highly regarded services for the community and even the nation. Kids may want to form their own charity or service project many reasons, but usually they have watched a friend or loved one suffer through a very challenging situation, or they’ve been through one themselves. They also have the support of someone like you who can help them stay on course.
Helping Kids Who Want to Start Their Own Charity
These can be the most challenging type of fundraising, but also the one that can be the most rewarding—both for you as a leader and a child with some determination, initiative and family support.
A parent of one non-profit founder said, “If a kid’s idea is golden, somehow, all the paperwork will get done.” He means that the focus should not be on the mountain of forms to fill out that are required for a legitimate charity, but on encouraging the child to cultivate his or her idea.
If the child doesn’t get the attention of a lawyer willing to do the work, he will probably get the attention of a parent who has filed such paperwork for a parents’ organization for a sport or school, etc.
At first, you want to offer enthusiasm and confidence. One way of doing that is by sharing how other children have started charities. Here are some with links to their web sites that you can share.
Service Project: The Ladybug Foundation
Hannah Taylor, age 5
When she was five, Hannah Taylor saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can. It impacted her to want to help cure the homelessness with hugs and ladybugs. She says, “Ladybugs represent luck, and homeless people need good luck. With some she set up The Ladybug Foundation, painting baby food jars like ladybugs and asking businesses for spare change. Now 10, Hannah has contributed over half a million dollars to Homeless charities.
Service Project: Free the Children
Craig Kielburger, age 12
In 1995 Craig Kielburger, 12, was looking for the comics in the newspaper when he stumbled on a story about a Pakistani boy his age who was murdered for speaking out against child labor. Craig quickly learned that 250 million child laborers exist across the globe. He started Free the Children with some classmates. Craig is now in his twenties and Free the Children has become the largest organization of children helping children, with partnerships with the United Nations and Oprah’s Angel Network.