Fundraising with children: ‘Children have an appetite to make the world a fair place’

Fundraising isn’t just for grownups. In fact, with their innate sense of fair play, many children are often keen to do what they can to make a positive difference to the people and environment around them.

There are so many benefits to introducing children to charity fundraising. These can be educational – learning about different countries, the environment, food chains, war – or related to personal development – altruism, motivation, and achievement.

However, it’s important to pitch the message just right so the children aren’t overwhelmed by the injustice and cruelty in the world, while making sure the fundraising activities are fun and engaging, as well as safe and appropriate.

Popular activities for young children (age six to 10) are a non-uniform day, school discos, sponsored silences and bake sales. It can help to centre the activities around a set day or week to provide focus and to have a particular challenge or target that can provide a sense of achievement. Older children, from 11 to 18 years old, need fun, relevant ideas too – but more complex activities with greater involvement in organising the fundraising activity.

“Group activities such as dance shows and interclub sports matches are popular as they have a valuable social element for this age group and allow them to be creative, explore and demonstrate their personal interests,” says Lucie Whiteman, Schools and Youth Manager at Comic Relief. She suggests a wear-what-you-like day, talent shows, a sponsored give-it-up (for example, mobile phones) and teacher versus pupil sports matches.

Although older children will want to take ownership of the campaign, it’s important to ensure there’s adult supervision to make sure activities are safe and appropriate, and any potentially hazardous ideas – leg waxing, sponsored shaves, boisterous physical games or holding your breath for as long as possible – are vetoed.

“There is an added risk with fundraising like collections or sponsorship that children and young people will try to gather this money from adults they do not know without supervision,” says Whiteman, who stresses that Comic Relief doesn’t promote any door-to-door collections or soliciting funds from strangers.

While the emphasis should be on fun, it’s also important to keep children engaged with the wider aims of the fundraising. Teachers, early-years practitioners or other youth workers should be able to communicate the wider goals and how the money raised will make a difference. It often helps to illustrate the point using real-life case stories, as this can really resonate with children.

“From our years of working with children and young people we know they have an appetite to help make the world a fair and equal place,” says Whiteman. “There is particular empathy for children and young people of a similar age that are in a vulnerable or disadvantaged situation.”

This was certainly the case at New Ford Primary School in Stoke-on- Trent. A morning assembly about the devastating tsunami in Japan prompted the children to start their own fundraising effort. A wide range of activities was organised, by the children themselves, from a series of non-uniform days to a penalty shootout. The children also made cakes, jelly, popcorn, smoothies and friendship bracelets to sell at school. “They really wanted to do it,” says head teacher Kate Quick. “They came up with the ideas and got really creative with it.”

Their hard work and creativity raised almost £1,100, a real achievement for a school of some 360 pupils in one of the less affluent parts of the country. It just shows what can be achieved when young minds are touched by the distress of others on the other side of the world. As Whiteman points out, children are the future donors, fundraisers, policy makers, consumers and influencers so it’s encouraging that so many are motivated to make a difference.



PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Manchester United's kit for the 2014/15 season
football
News
Nadine Gordimer died peacefully at home yesterday
peopleNobel laureate was a powerful anti-Apartheid voice
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Programme Planner

    £30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

    HTS GBM - KDB Developer, Kx Q Query Language, £750

    £650 - £750 per day: Orgtel: Senior Analyst Developer (KDB/QKx plus Java and F...

    Infrastructure Test Lead

    £55000 - £60000 per annum + bonus + bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Our c...

    Messaging Support Consultant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + bonus + bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Messa...

    Day In a Page

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

    Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

    Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
    Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

    The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

    Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

    Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
    Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

    Meet Japan's AKB48

    Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
    In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

    Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

    The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor