73% of teachers uncomfortable with some fundraising methodsSaturday May 21 2011
Times are tighter for charities and as fundraisers launch ever more public focused campaigns, some teachers have sounded concerns that some fundraising approaches make them feel uncomfortable. Now a group of charities working in international development and humanitarian action have committed to helping make good practice in fundraising with young people easier.
British Red Cross, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Handicap International, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan, Practical Action, SOS Children's Villages, Unicef, VSO and Think Global will be releasing a fun poster to schools next week to help teachers identify and support ‘good' fundraising.
In UK state schools alone conservative estimates put the value of charity fundraising at over £35 million per year. This does not incorporate independent schools, youth groups or out of school fundraising with pupils.
A survey of teachers found that nearly 65% of teachers say they carry out fundraising with their students at least once a term. Of these, over 20% get their students involved in fundraising more than six times a year.
As well as being fun and supporting the work of charities, fundraising activities also have huge educational potential for young people, offering them opportunities to develop their understanding and skills as active, responsible citizens. There is much to be positive about. The survey found that over 60% of teachers always or often give students opportunities to make decisions about fundraising activities, learn about the work of charities and explore different ways individuals can effect change.
However, the survey also found that 73% of teachers reported sometimes feeling uncomfortable about the approaches charities make to them to involve their students in fundraising. Of these, nearly 20% often feel uncomfortable. The survey also found that over 70% of teachers did not always feel that the charities they fundraise for give them the support and information they need to make fundraising an educational experience for students.
The group have made the guidelines available to other charities, 'Unlocking the educational potential of fundraising activities: Guidelines for good practice in fundraising with young people' and now the group are offering schools a free colourful poster and case studies, to help make fundraising both fun and educational.
They highlight that fundraising activities that fulfil their educational potential support young people to participate in decision-making; explore the work of charities; engage with underlying issues; consider a range of ways to effect change; and carry out safe, effective fundraising.
In addition to enhancing the educational possibilities around fundraising, charities involved in the guidelines group have found that good school fundraising can also develop their informed supporters of the future. Other benefits to a planned approach to fundraising with young people can include enhancing the percentage of gift aid from contributions as part of the work done in schools.
To order the poster, see the guidelines or read a case study visit: http://www.globaldimension.org.uk/fundraising
The figure of £35million comes from some research from the Directory of Social Change which found that annually students in schools are raising the equivalent of £3.40 per primary pupil and £4.00 per secondary pupil for charities and community causes (Mountfield, A., Eastwood, N. (2000) School Fundraising in England, Directory of Social Change)
The survey research was a short, online survey distributed to teachers through the networks of the charities contributing to the guidelines. We had responses from teachers in a range of contexts (primary, secondary, middle schools etc).
The guidelines focus on young people (both in schools and informal education contexts) because fundraising activities have such potential to contribute to developing young people's understanding and skills as active, responsible citizens. However, as reflected in the experience of the contributing organisations and the survey research, this educative potential is not always met. Producing the guidelines gave the contributing organisations the opportunity to reflect on and commit to continue to improving their practice, and to offer their experience to other organisations in developing their own practice.
Think Global also contributed to the Giving Green Paper.
The contribution was added to the Giving White Paper, published 23 May 2011 (p.60)