Can Fundraisers Really Teach Children to Be Charitable?

Short answer: Yes!

When fundraising shifts from a mindset of selling products to a mindset of raising money via an activity or by participating in an event, this instills charitable qualities in students.

  • Action - Teaching the merits of being a part of a grassroots movement to bring about change in a place that matters to them (their school)
  • Empowerment - Through the format of athon fundraising, even kindergarteners can make a big difference for your school!
  • Communication - Fundraisers based on donations teach students how to be little activists for a cause they believe in and how to communicate to friends and family about why they are seeking donations.

The old way of fundraising - selling chocolate and pizza kits and coupon books from door-to-door - simply reinforced the merits of capitalism.

But, fundraising is about more than a monetary exchange. In fact, fundraising can be a profound lesson about giving back, being a part of community, and how one small action can lead to great change and impact. This is not only important for you to realize as a Fundraising Chairperson or Parent Group leader, but it's also important to communicate to parents so they see how donation-based fundraisers are positively impacting their children.

How to Teach Charitable Lessons Through Your Fundraisers:

Students will naturally pick up on the positive, philanthropic lessons taught through your fundraiser. But, there are also practical ways that you can instill these lessons throughout the donation period:

1. Show Them They Are a Part of Something Bigger Than Themselves

Where are the funds going from your donations? Pick 1-3 items/initiatives/programs and in your kick-off assembly, show students how raising money for these items will make an impact not only for them, but also for teachers, staff, future students, and their community.

If you are using our online donation system, FundHub, the fundraising pie chart (an illustration of where your funds are going) is really helpful for this lesson!

Not using FundHub? Take our online tour to check it out!

2. Communicate to Parents the Importance of Emphasizing the Charitable Aspect of Your Fundraiser

It's important for parents to see your fundraiser as a meaningful way to teach their children about compassion and charity. Encourage them to take part by giving them tools, such as ways to explain the fundraiser to their kids or handouts that illustrate how one action can lead to great change (think of a pebble being thrown in a pond and the rings that form from the impact). Equipping parents with these tools not only increases the chances of the lesson sticking with students, but it is also a positive way to engage moms and dads to be a part of your fundraiser.

3. Teach Students That There is Always More Than One Way to Give Back

The great thing about taking action for a good cause, is there is always more than one way to give back.

Allow students to explore all of the creative ways they can be a part of your fundraiser, such as creating videos to gather donations, working as a class or grade to win fun competitions based on getting the most donors or community sponsors, or maybe through volunteering their time at a mini-event to raise donations.

Other creative ways to give back:

  • Donate books to the school library (great if you're hosting a read-athon!)
  • Give away lightly worn tennis shoes to a local shelter (perfect fit for a Fun Run or Jog-Athon)
  • Create classroom gifts for staff and administrators as a "thank you" for helping them reach their school fundraising goals
  • Have a school-wide playground clean-up day in anticipation of your upcoming outdoor event

Instilling charitable values in our children creates adolescents and adults who are compassionate, giving people who seek to bring about positive change in the world. Just like the pebble in the pond, sometimes great, future impact starts with one small step. That step could be your next fundraiser.

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