Our holiday reading list includes a gem about raising generous children. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money by New York Times financial columnist Rob Lieber takes the sting out of talking to kids about money. Lieber advocates for families to strategically “save, spend, and give” as a tool to demystifying money and opening up conversations about family values, philanthropy, consumption, and planning for the future.

Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Kristin Nelson will be applying some of Mr. Lieber’s advice in her own family and sharing the process, results, and missteps of guiding her six-year old daughter through the world of money and philanthropy (and beyond.) Check back to this post for an ongoing discussion and see how they are doing.

The Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Planning Team invites you to read along with us and share your thoughts about the book or Kristin’s experience. To add a comment to this page, click on the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of this story or post on our Facebook  page. You can email Kristin directly, too. We would love to hear your thoughts and further the conversation!


Preclude: The Owl Banks

We have long maintained three piggy banks (in our house, they are owls) in our six-year old Poppy’s room; one for spending, one for saving and one for donating.

As a family, we sat down and talked about the owl banks purposes and what might be done with each one. And since one of the earlier owls took flight off the dresser and was replaced by a different feathered friend, it was also a good time to take stock of the contents of each bank. So we counted all the funds together and then divided everything into three equal piles of mostly coins.

The owls were labeled, as directed by the Owl Wrangler (the largest for savings, middle for donating and smallest for spending) because “I might need more room for savings and want to give a lot more away than the little owl”.

With each bank now loaded Poppy began to explore what might be done with the “donate” owl.

This year for the holidays (we celebrate Christmas), our family will be making a donation from each family member to a nonprofit outside of our giving plan. Poppy immediately jumped up and said she would be giving her owl bank to COTS this year. But, she was also interested in adopting a bat from a conservation organization in Texas, called Bat World Sanctuary. Or maybe giving some to Monterey Bay Aquarium for the Mola Mola. Or to the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue since the coyotes talk to guests on the tour.

As a Philanthropic Advisor, the challenge of wanting to support lots of organization with limited resources is one that I am familiar with. Learn how Poppy decides where to donate her Owl to as well as the adult take-away’s her family experienced along the way.


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