Young volunteers wooed with business experience

A children's charity is offering young volunteer fundraisers work experience at leading businesses such as Saatchi & Saatchi as an incentive to come up with money-generating ideas.

Wings of Hope is giving placements at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, global investment bank Lehman Brothers and advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to winners of its annual achievement awards for 14 to 18-year-olds.

The initiative has enabled the charity, which supports children in India and Malawi, to build new relationships with businesses and has highlighted the need for a fresh charity approach to wooing young people.

Christiana Cullen, a spokeswoman for Wings of Hope, said everybody benefited from the scheme. She explained: "Corporates are looking for bright students who are not only good at studies but are also able to interact with others in their team. The students learn great transferable skills and the charity benefits from funds raised."

Last year, voluntary sector think tank nfpSynergy claimed that a new breed of 'selfish' volunteer had emerged - people interested as much in what they could get out of fundraising and volunteering as in what they could put in.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy and chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said incentive schemes were necessary to attract young fundraisers.

"Wings of Hope has had an excellent idea," he said. "Charities can't just expect to tap into young people's sense of altruism - those days are dead and gone."

Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the institute, said Wings of Hope's move was an outstanding example of how to engage young people.

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