If you are a philanthropist who has a carefully crafted mission and thinks about giving in time frames spanning years or even decades, Giving Tuesday might not be on your radar. However, pause before you dismiss the #GivingTuesday marketing efforts that likely clog your inbox and social media feeds. While your charitable mission and grantees for the year might already be selected, Giving Tuesday can be a useful and timely tool to engage younger donors in your family.

The Giving Tuesday marketing blitz can be used to capture the attention of the next generation, especially those in their teens and 20s who spend time on social media and might find it more appealing than a family foundation meeting or a charity site visit. Rather than writing Giving Tuesday off, consider using it as a catalyst to spark a conversation about philanthropy. Here are a few ways you can engage children of any age and pique interest in philanthropy.

For The Youngest Donors
Philanthropy is far more than just a conversation about charity. Philanthropy can teach the importance of generosity, family values and giving. That’s why it's never too early to begin the conversation. Raising life-long donors starts with building a basic understanding of charitable giving and why it matters. While conversations surrounding giving might seem to be centered around money, which is intimidating for any parent, they don't have to be. Instead, these conversations can be an opportunity to have fun and establish a positive connotation with Giving Tuesday and philanthropy for your children at an early age.

To start, consider making the holiday into a game of Giving Tuesday Bingo. Ask your children what they saw and experienced throughout the day, what Giving Tuesday is and who is participating in it. Make a board or worksheet that includes different philanthropic activities people may partake in—whether it's contributing money to a non-profit, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or donating canned food or clothing—and the different types of charitable causes (e.g., animal welfare, environmental, etc.). Have your child check off boxes based on what they see both in real life and in marketing materials. This will show them that donations can come in forms other than money and make them aware of many different types of charitable causes and needs.

Another exercise for your child could be an act of kindness checklist, including activities or small deeds they can carry out themselves. This activity removes the monetary element of Giving Tuesday and highlights the importance of generosity and kindness. Gamifying Giving Tuesday will raise awareness and start to foster a relationship between your children and charitable giving.

For Teen And College-Age Donors
Once children begin making their own money through a part-time job or allowance and have established a basic understanding of money, they have entered the perfect stage to start engaging in hands-on charitable giving. Parents can use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity for teens to experiment with a small grant. By giving them a relatively small dollar amount to donate to a charity of their choice, you can start the conversation of why they chose that organization and what resonates with them. You can ask questions about the reasoning behind their choice and help them understand their own motivational values. When you allow children to have autonomy in the decision-making process, they can then evaluate why they give and start to form their own charitable mission. Let them know that they can count on you to guide them through important decisions like these and that they have your support, but give them the opportunity to experience philanthropy on their own.

In high school and beyond, it is important to give your children the freedom to make bigger decisions on their own. They will certainly make mistakes or missteps—let them, and then help them learn from it. This autonomy aids them in developing a greater sense of self-control and ability to think independently of others. Helping your children learn to be autonomous donors—by starting with small, age-appropriate charitable giving decisions—will help them to connect their values to their giving and grow into effective philanthropists later in life.

For College And Beyond Donors
It may be natural to assume that once your children become emerging adults, they are knowledgeable and mature enough to donate their money to the causes they select. While this may be true, Giving Tuesday is still an opportunity to bring your family together. Ask them how you all, as a family of philanthropists, can come together to support a charitable mission that honors the passions, interests and values of family members, both collectively and individually. And then listen.

College-age and emerging adults are exposed to many concepts, ideas and causes outside of your family, and this time of life is an ideal time for them to try new activities and explore their own philanthropic interests. Allow them to share their charitable interests with you. Listen to why they give and look for common ground. After all, they inherited most of their values from you, their parents and their grandparents, so perhaps you will find their charitable work meaningful and make a grant of your own to their chosen cause. Alternatively, seek to understand what motivates them and how their interests might be compatible with yours.

Engaging in a conversation like this lays the groundwork for uniting your family through philanthropy and demonstrates the power that giving has in bringing people together through purpose and value-based decision-making. Not to mention that this exercise helps your family practice having complex conversations about financial-decision making and personal values—the foundation for families who thrive. Establishing a sense of openness and comfort with your family on topics such as philanthropy and financial values will be something that children can carry on and pass down to future generations.

Looking At This Giving Tuesday Differently
While the media has made Giving Tuesday more of a marketing gimmick than a time to discuss philanthropic values, we can still seize the opportunity to inspire the next generation of donors. By using the ideas outlined above, no matter what stage of life your child is in, make this holiday season a time to start the important and timeless conversation on value-based charitable giving—a lesson that will last long after Giving Tuesday.

Adrienne Penta is principal of private banking at the Center for Women & Wealth. Kerri Mast is principal of private banking and philanthropic advisory services at Brown Brothers Harriman.