Most children’s ministry leaders, parents, and teachers would agree that practical application is an effective tool for learning. Nonprofit organizations offer a unique way for the kids in your children’s ministry to practice life application. Getting behind a nonprofit cause can actually support their faith when they serve others and work to better their community.
As a children’s ministry leader, you may want to encourage parents and kids to support nonprofit causes, but how? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting kids behind nonprofit missions, including:
- How Kids Impact Nonprofits
- How Nonprofits Impact Kids
- 3 Ways To Get Kids Involved in Nonprofit Causes
Faith in action can bring to life the lessons you teach from your children’s curriculum. Let’s take a closer look at how nonprofit involvement can accomplish this and what you can do to get started.
How Kids Impact Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations depend on the generosity of donors and volunteers to fund their work and achieve their goals. When kids support nonprofit missions, they’ll maximize the support these organizations so desperately need. And what an awesome thing for kids to get involved, giving donations or serving alongside their parents and friends!
Plus, the extra support from kids can boost participation in nonprofit events, such as virtual fundraisers or volunteer opportunities. They’ll bring their parents, siblings, or friends, ultimately encouraging those around them to get involved. This acts as a ripple effect, spreading awareness and support of a nonprofit’s mission.
How Nonprofits Impact Kids
While nonprofits benefit greatly from the support they receive, kids may also learn important lessons from their experiences with nonprofits. Key takeaways may include:
- Generosity: As you’re teaching kids from the Bible, a central lesson they’ll learn is to serve others. Getting kids behind nonprofit missions teaches them to be generous with their time and effort, and allows them to practice this by serving others in their community.
- Compassion: If the kids in your children’s ministry are fortunate enough to have everything they need, they may be unaware that some struggle for basic necessities. Many children today don’t understand the word ‘need.’ Introducing kids to service for nonprofit causes makes them aware of the needs of others and can help them share compassion.
- Gratitude: A new awareness of what others are facing can teach kids to appreciate everything they have. Paired with lessons about God’s goodness and provision, these experiences can help kids truly understand what it means to serve. As a bonus, they may learn to have gratitude!
A nonprofit’s donor recognition efforts might encourage kids to continue serving others as they see the impact of their contribution. This can show kids the significance of their involvement, especially when they see the organization at work and know they helped.
3 Ways To Get Kids Involved in Nonprofit Causes
Getting children involved in nonprofit causes requires more than just encouraging them to start supporting a cause. You must find kid-friendly nonprofit activities that make it possible for them to contribute in some way. Not only do these activities need to be age-appropriate, but you’ll also need to keep kids engaged to encourage them to continue their support.
To do this, consider the following ideas.
1. Find an opportunity for the family
According to 99Pledges’ roundup of fundraising ideas, the best fundraisers for kids are ones that get the entire family involved. When their parents or siblings are also involved, kids will grasp the importance of nonprofit support and have fun doing it! Look for family-centered support opportunities, such as:
- Virtual activities: Like the popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, virtual activities are exciting ways for families to support nonprofits from home. Not only do they often give kids an opportunity to get creative and do something fun, such as making a video or entering a fun photo contest, but they’re also convenient for parents who would rather participate from home.
- In-person events: Kids and their families can attend engaging events to show their support for a nonprofit cause. For example, school auctions or fundraising dinners can be great activities for families to attend together while also showing their support for a charitable cause.
- Volunteer roles: Special projects can be fun, especially when kids get to work together with their family members. Volunteer opportunities like planting trees or passing out food at the food bank are projects that kids can enjoy with their parents or siblings while also playing an important role in impacting the lives of others.
Much like how sports team fans feel connected by their shared interest in a particular team, kids will feel included in something special when they team up with their families to accomplish something important. Plus, they’ll build new relationships when they become part of the nonprofit’s community.
2. Explain nonprofit support in children’s ministry lessons
As you aim to teach kids valuable lessons through your children’s ministry, nonprofit support and service project opportunities can reinforce those lessons and help kids think more deeply about what they’re learning. Even younger children will benefit from thinking about each lesson and applying it to their lives.
For example, Wonder Ink’s guide to children’s church curriculum recommends teaching kids to build relationships. What better way to put “loving your neighbor” into practice than by working together to serve others in the community?
Explain nonprofit support in the context of lessons taught through your children’s ministry. Children will better grasp the key takeaways when they have concrete examples of those ideas in real life. Plus, this will encourage them to not just hear a lesson on Sunday but to act on their faith.
3. Make nonprofit support fun
A surefire way to get kids behind nonprofit causes is by showing them how fun nonprofit support can be. After all, having fun while learning an important lesson makes it easier for kids to stay engaged.
You might make nonprofit support fun through:
- Enticing activities: Schedule a special trip for the children in your program to complete a fun volunteer activity for a local nonprofit. For example, most kids will eagerly volunteer for an animal-related nonprofit if the role allows them to play with puppies and kittens!
- Rewards: Encourage support by adding on some more fun when a service activity is completed. For example, you might offer a pizza party to the group of kids in your program—whether they worked to raise money or served together! During the party, you can encourage kids to reflect on what they may have learned while serving.
Don’t hesitate to ask kids directly what they’d find most fun. After all, you must offer something that appeals to them to truly make the activity fun!
Before facilitating specific ways for them to get involved, talk to the parents and children in your ministry about service projects through nonprofit organizations and what they do. That way, you’ll give them the background needed to understand nonprofits and the importance of nonprofit support. This is also a great opportunity for you to explain the spiritual context of charitable giving and teach a valuable lesson about serving others.