There is no better way to teach children to be generous and caring than teaching them about charity. A new study from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy shows that children are much more likely to participate in philanthropy later in life if their parents talk to them about it. And, what could be better than talking about giving to charity? Engaging children in fundraising activities from an early age. So, pick a cause and get started fundraising with your kiddo, youth group, or class today. Here are six tips to ensure a successful fundraising experience for your child or group.
1. Introduce the cause
Children and adults alike are more likely to get excited about fundraising if they understand why they are raising money. Whether you’re trying to buy a new scoreboard for the football team or collecting donations for a pediatric hospital, the first step is to ensure that everyone knows what the end goal is and why it’s crucial. Consider taking a field trip to the place your money will go toward inviting a representative associated with the cause you’re supporting to speak to your group. By leading children in fundraising, you’re creating young philanthropists—make sure they’re getting the chance to feel like something bigger than themselves.
2. Set a goal
Clear goals are essential in successful fundraising for groups of any age. If the amount you ultimately need or want to raise isn’t pre-determined, consider involving your young fundraisers in the process of setting the goal. Doing so will create a sense of shared ownership. Whether the group sets the target, or it was previously determined, the next step is to lead each kiddo in setting their personal goal. By breaking down the large amount into small chunks, each child will see how their efforts will contribute the whole in a very concrete way. Again, it’s vital for each person to be involved in the goal-setting process so that they experience ownership.
3. Make it a competition
A little healthy competition is a great way to make fundraising exciting. Extravagant prizes (or any material prize, for that matter) aren’t necessary. The leader could announce the top fundraiser, and the amount they’ve generated at a meeting and the other children will get the message. If you’re leading a child in a solo fundraising initiative, help them figure out how to compete with themselves. Perhaps the kiddo’s goal is to beat the amount they raised the previous week each new week.
4. Celebrate milestones
It’s essential to break up a big fundraising goal, into smaller short-term goals so that children feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. It helps build momentum to keep them moving forward. It also helps create a plan so that no one waits until the last week to get to work toward their goal. For instance, if a child’s goal is to raise $100 in one month, help them make a plan to raise $25 each week. Then, check in with them at the end of each week and commend them for staying on track toward their big goal.
5. Provide recognition
We all love to be recognized for good deeds. Consider ways to acknowledge your young fundraisers for their philanthropic efforts. You could get a local newspaper to do a story on your project, or post about it on social media—with parents’ permission, of course.
6. Make it fun!
Above all, successful fundraisers are FUN! People work harder when they enjoy their work, and that’s true in regards to children and fundraising. Also, learning to raise money for essential causes develops a skill set that children will be able to carry through life. Ensure that you’re cultivating an enjoyable experience so that they’ll each want to continue raising money for things they believe in well into adulthood.