Institute of Fundraising: Schools conference shows positive impact of G-Nation

The Institute partnered both Giving Nation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in running a recent conference for charities that are fundraising in secondary schools.

The conference was a sell-out, with more than 100 charity fundraisers in attendance.

Highlights of the Charity Fundraising in Secondary Schools conference included a series of targeted workshops. John Potter, former head of CSV, argued that education should be approached in a holistic way, encouraging charities to look beyond citizenship lessons for opportunities elsewhere in the curriculum.

Joshua Hardie, business development director at Edcoms, provided a framework for charities to help them plan their educational materials. Don Rowe, director of curriculum resources at the Citizenship Foundation, spoke about citizenship lessons in schools, saying only one quarter taught the subject in a truly holistic way. He said there were encouraging numbers of specialised teachers emerging each year.

Later sessions included an update on the work of the Russell Commission and Giving Nation. Now in its third year, Giving Nation is working to create a greater inclination to give in youth culture, and to increase involvement of young people in charitable activities at school. Campaign materials are now present in more than 4,000 secondary schools, accessible to 300,000 pupils.

A recent research project emphasises the importance of its work, with the key finding that young people in schools that run G-Week, a Giving Nation initiative, are 30 per cent more likely to give in the future. In the past year, 25,000 pupils have received certificates for their involvement in charity, and 15,000 pupils have registered with www.g-nation.co.uk. Twenty-eight per cent of schools using the pack say it has stimulated new schemes for charity management in schools.

In the build-up to G-Week (2-8 July), Giving Nation has recently launched the 2005 G-Nation Awards in a new online format, and is currently revamping its free education materials. If any of your supporter schools are running a fund-raising or volunteering event, make sure they take part in G-Week 2005.

The popularity of this schools conference suggests there is a real demand for such specialist events, and we will be looking to expand our core event offering over the next financial year. If you have any suggestions for conferences and workshops that you want to see available through the Institute, please contact Kirsty on our events team, kirstyt@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk.

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