The Dragon School, a leading prep school in Oxford, are giving their pupils lessons in philanthropy – with the aim of encouraging them to become future philanthropists.
Alongside this, the new that household giving hasn’t increased in the last 20 years – a depressing statistic for a fundraiser to read. Of the 0.4% of households who give to charity, 35% of donors are aged 65 or older (this has increased from 25% 20 years ago).
Younger generations don’t give for a number of reasons – often because they have other financial pressures such as mortgages and young families so have less in the way of disposable income. However, there is no doubt that we need to encourage younger donations to give – and to promote the fact that it doesn’t need to be cash but could be in-kind through volunteering.
Lessons in entrepreneurship and financial management are on the rise in schools across the country and, as jobs dwindle and families face even greater financial pressures than before, it’s already recognised that children need to be encouraged to think more entrepreneurially than previous generations and perhaps look to themselves to create their own job and financial security. These lessons in philanthropy will also give children life skills, knowledge and awareness that they will (hopefully) continue to develop and use in later life – and who knows, if they use them alongside their entrepreneurial skills, they may be in a position to become serious philanthropists in the future.
Let’s hope more schools consider putting these lessons into their curriculum.