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The cause that motivates men to give
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Recent research has found that women give to charities more than men. But men want to donate, too. And family may be the key to making them do so. - photo by Herb Scribner
Recent research has found that women give to charities more than men.

But men donate, too. And, according to a new study, they specifically donate to charities that help children. In fact, family may be one of the top motivators for men and women alike in how they donate.

The consulting group Good Scout released a report this week on how men give to charities and found that more than half of men want to donate to charities that help children. Men will also often donate to humanitarian and disaster charities, social services, arts, education and advocacy groups, according to the report.

The report also found that 57 percent of men will donate to charities when a family member or friend refers them to a charity. Men are highly motivated by family when they choose when and where to donate, The Huffington Post reported. In fact, 24 percent of men will donate to charity when they hear about it from a family member, the Good Scout report said.

This suggests the family dynamic may play an even larger role in motivating and activating men at every age to engage with causes, the report said. Perhaps there is a general opportunity as a sector to look at how we are creating events, defining our impact, messaging through marketing and aligning with companies. Infusing family in smart and strategic ways to motivate men to engage with a cause could just move the needle for your mission.

Men and women have also been known to donate when they know it will help them start a family, too. This past Valentines Day, a study from German researchers at the Institute of Sociology and Social Psychology found that men and women find altruism attractive. And the altruistic have better luck finding and maintaining relationships, the researchers found, according to Pacific Standard.

"In any given time period individuals reporting a high frequency of pro-social behavior were more likely to indicate a relationship status change from single to partnered than their less pro-social counterparts, the researchers found.

This has led young Americans to embrace charity giving more than other generations. And that's partly because they want to help their children, according to a survey from Harris Interactive for the World Vision Gift Catalog campaign. The survey found young men want to teach their youngsters good values for the future through donations.

Specifically, three out of every five young adults feel giving to charity is good for teaching children good values for the future. Forty-three percent of parents with children under the age of 18 felt the same, according to the survey.

Maybe youre a parent who wants to instill positive values in your children, World Vision reported. Or perhaps you simply want to honor a friend or loved one who already seems to have everything.

Ron Lieber of The New York Times wrote last year that he teaches his children good values by talking to them about the benefits of giving to charity. Liebers family specifically used dried beans to visualize how the family donates their money to different charities and organizations. He plans to make this an annual tradition where he can show his children the value of good charity giving.

My guess is that any family that tries this would hear their children echo at least some of the values that they hold dear, Lieber wrote. If not, the conversation offers an opportunity to find out which issues and institutions matter most to every family member and why.