George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh
George Heriot’s School complete an 8 week philanthropy unit as part of its Critical Thinking course with Senior Three. The lessons start by looking at the pupils’ perceptions of charity and giving and using recent examples from the news about charities’ work. Each class receives a visit from a representative from a local charity and this is useful in helping us understand how charities are managed and the decisions they make in terms of staffing, marketing, finances, etc.
One lesson was used to model how to research charities using the Big Give’s database and then pupils were able to spend time completing independent research of the database. They were encouraged to use their analysis and evaluation skills as they looked at a charity’s profile, mission statement, website and accounts. This information was then used for further discussion and reflection in small groups. At the end of the unit, pupils considered ways to support a charity – their ideas included making a donation, completing a fundraising activity, offering their time and campaigning on behalf of a charity. Their final reflections noted the development of their learning and skills over the 8 weeks:
“I now feel that if I had to give money to one of two charities, I could compare them in lots of different areas – e.g. number of staff, mission statements, aims, expenditure.”
“I’ve realised that you can do much more research into charities than I first thought. I want to analyse a charity’s work and see where the money is going.”
“I’ve learned not just to look at information and accept it is true. I need to look further and find evidence.”
“This has changed my view of charities because it has made me realise that you must complete in-depth research on which charities you are going to donate to as different charities spend different amounts of money on their projects.”
Oundle School, Peterborough
In 2016, Oundle School once again ran the Big Give’s Philanthropy in Schools programme, which aims to inspire the next generation of philanthropists.
Through the generosity of the School’s alumni Old Oundelian Club, each Fourth former (Year 10 pupil) at Oundle had access to a £5 voucher which they could donate directly to a charity of their choice. Each House group was then given the chance to present a ‘pitch’ to the School’s Charity Committee for a charity that all the Fourth formers in that House agreed was worthy of receiving the grand prize donated by the Old Oundelian Club. The best four were then given the chance to present to three members of the Old Oundelian Committee in the Big Give Grand Bid, with a chance to win a £1,000 donation for their chosen charity.
The winners were Wyatt House, who are also planning to present on Childline at Laxton Junior School.
Head of the School’s Charity Committee, Ian Clark commented, “The Big Give Grand Bid 2016 has hopefully helped a number of Fourth Form pupils find out more about charities and how they work, and those who presented gained some excellent experience. We hope that the OO Club will be willing to continue its generous support in the future.”
George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh
George Heriot’s School has delivered the Philanthropy in Schools programme for two years running as part of its S3 Critical Thinking course. This year, eight classes (170 students) took part in the programme over an eight week period.
George Heriot’s focused on developing the analytical and evaluative skills of pupils, requiring them to think carefully about the decisions they make when researching charities. The programme was adapted to facilitate peer reviewing of the students’ research skills and choices, with emphasis placed on individual decision making.
To bring the programme to life, George Heriot’s invited representatives from local charities to come in and speak to the pupils about how non-profit organisations operate.
Click on the images below to read more about how George Heriot’s ran the Philanthropy in Schools programme.
Critical Thinking Unit
Critical Thinking Unit
The Senior 3 Critical Thinking classes learned about philanthropy, giving and charities in the Spring Term 2016. At the end of the unit, each pupil made a £10 donation to a charity of their choice, in conjunction with the Big Give's Philanthropy in Schools programme.
The map shows the locations of the donations made from one class, with some reflections from the pupils about what they learned.
"I would rather make a big difference to a small charity than a small difference to a big charity."
"I didn't realise there were so many different types of charities. You really have to do the research so you know what your money is doing."
"I chose to support Child Rescue Nepal because it seems like a very worthwhile case supporting abandoned children in Nepal."
"I chose to donate to a local charity because it will make more of a difference to those who I am around and I will be able to see the people it helps and affects."
"I never realised how many people genuinely just wanted to make other people's lives better."
"I chose to donate to Ape Action Africa because its projects are varied over different problems within the decrease in population of apes. It had up to date photos on the website and its projects were good."
"I chose to donate to Mission Aviation Fellowship as I have a love of aircraft and MAF uses them to access extremely remote communities whom otherwise would have to walk for days to get medical help. The work they do makes a huge difference to the lives of so many people."
"Before the unit, I would not have thought about looking at a charity's accounts before donating to it. I also did not know about the Big Give and related sites. I will probably make use of them again."
"I am a lot better now at evaluating information. I have learned to criticise data in order to make educated decisions."
"I chose to donate to Sports Chaplaincy UK because their aims and beliefs are close to my own. Their website looked very professional and their accounts are in order with them not overspending in four years."
"I chose to donate to African Children's Fund because they have very strong beliefs towards their aims. I like that they are quite a small charity with only 3 full time staff, 3 part time staff and 40 volunteers. I also like that they spend nearly exactly the same amount as they get. I like that they don't just give the children food and education, they give them a voice."
"Before I was concerned where my money would go and how it would benefit the issue. However now I think more about how I make that decision and why."
"Thank you very much for helping us learn more about charities and the way they truly work. Keep teaching all of us, and keep opening our eyes."
"Your Philanthropy in Schools project has really helped my research and analysis skills blossom as I learnt about all the different reason and causes I need to take into account when donating to a charity."
"Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to donate £10 to charity. I know so much more about charities now and it is my first time donating more than £1. I really believe in the charity I have chosen and hope my £10 donation will help out a lot."
"Thank you for your helpful website and information that helped our School donate and change lives for the better."
"I am writing to say thank you for successfully helping our school year, S3, to all become philanthropists."
"Thank you for helping us donate towards a worthwhile cause. Your help is very much appreciated and I'm sure the charities we donate to will also be as grateful as us. Once again, thank you for helping towards a happier, better future for the world."
We are extremely grateful to the Sponsor who supported this programme, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Inspiring the next generation of philanthropists would not be possible without your generous contribution. Thank you for giving these students the opportunity to participate in the programme.
Ormiston Chadwick Academy, Widnes
Ormiston Chadwick Academy delivered the Big Give’s Philanthropy in Schools programme in October 2015 as part of its ‘Making a Positive Contribution Day’. All students were involved in different activities throughout the day to develop their soft skills and help them understand the benefits of helping other people and their communities. The Big Give was delighted to have all Year 8 students take part in the programme as part of such an engaging day for the whole school.
Some Year 10 students supported the groups of younger students which offered an excellent opportunity for them to develop their leadership skills, and a few volunteers volunteered to take photographs during the day to create a thank you presentation for the Sponsor.*
*Philanthropy in Schools works with Sponsors who provide the donation funds for students. We are very grateful to these generous Sponsors for making the programme possible.
Click on the images below to read more about how Ormiston Chadwick Academy ran the Philanthropy in Schools programme.
Making a positive contribution
Making a positive contribution
To begin the day, the students were given the opportunity to browse the Big Give website and donate an individual voucher of £5 to a charity of their choice. They particularly enjoyed the autonomy of this exercise and felt a great responsibility to donate to a worthwhile cause.
Following this activity, the Year 8’s were divided into ten groups and were each tasked with choosing a charity to present to their peers and the judging panel at the end of the day. The students dedicated a large amount of time to researching their chosen charities in order to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the charity’s aims and why it was worthy of the audience’s attention. Posters, leaflets and even some homemade charity badges were created to convey the students’ passion for their causes.
"The Big Give is a good idea and should be spread round the world"
"I most enjoyed working together in a team."
"I learned about how much money actually got to the charity and what would happen if we donate."
"I enjoyed donating the most because I really like doing good deeds."
"I feel like it is an amazing project to get people to donate."
"I learned that you can help a lot by taking part."
"I liked it when you put the issue in the search bar, then it comes up with charities involved in it."
"I loved performing about our charity."
"I enjoyed participating because I got to talk to different people about my ideas."
Two members of the Big Give team visited Ormiston Chadwick Academy to meet the students and hear their presentations.
Rachel Earnshaw, the Charity Relationship Manager, commented, “It was fantastic to see the students preparing and delivering their pitches. We were particularly impressed with the winning team who presented a case for the charity Tree of Hope. This group opened their presentation with a role play on the meaning of philanthropy and incorporated both the charity’s and donors’ perspectives, with a compelling argument on the valuable work of the organisation.”
Tree of Hope supports families of sick and disabled children in the UK who need specialist medical surgery, treatment and therapy. The runner-ups’ charities were World Child Cancer, Be Child Cancer Aware and the RSPCA.
We would like to thank Jane Hulton-Harrop for kindly sponsoring the Philanthropy in Schools programme for Ormiston Chadwick Academy.
We asked Jane about her experience as a sponsor for the programme and she commented, "I was delighted to be given the opportunity to sponsor students so that they could take part in the exciting Big Give Philanthropy in Schools project."
"It is a great idea to involve youngsters in intelligent giving; such a stimulating, off timetable experience will, I think, stay with them for the rest of their lives!"
Would you like to run the programme in your School?
If you are interested in running the programme in your School or sponsoring a programme, please get in touch with Laura Walmsley, the Philanthropy in Schools co-ordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.