Philanthropy in Schools

The Big Give Philanthropy in Schools programme aims to inspire the next generation of philanthropists and could result in an extra donation for your charity.

The programme engages students in philanthropy and promotes the benefits of intelligent charitable giving. Designed to be run during lesson time or as an after school activity, the scheme encourages thorough research into organisations and allows children to learn about the valuable work of all our charities.  Students then decide which of our charities to award a donation voucher to (usually £50).

The student’s decision is based on the information displayed on your charity and project profiles.  Therefore, to increase your chances of gaining a young supporter, it is best to keep your profiles as up to date as possible and make them as attractive as possible to potential donors.

Success Story – The Dragon School

In 2013, the Dragon School in North Oxford ran the scheme for a fifth year, dividing a £2,000 sponsor donation from Dragon Sale Committee between 23 Year 8 students.

Each student used to short-list two projects of interest. They researched these projects in greater detail and created reports explaining which of the charities would get their support, before donating their charity voucher online.

Students were then divided into groups before discussing their choices with their peers. Each group chose one project to present and elected a spokesperson.

The sponsor and the Big Give representative visited the Dragon School to meet the pupils and hear their presentations on a fantastic range of charities.

All presentations were of a very high standard and each speaker made a very persuasive argument to support their chosen causes.  The winning group presented a case for the Next Einstein Initiative – a charity focused on the teaching of mathematical sciences to African university graduates.  The runner-ups’ charities were Magic Breakfast and Research into Parkinson’s.

So far over 2,000 students in 20 schools across the country have already run the Philanthropy in Schools programme.


Success Story – Westminster Under School

In June 2012, Westminster Under School ran the Philanthropy in Schools programme for the third year. Thirty scholars, aged 12-13, took part in the scheme – which fitted well into the post-exam timetable.

Each student was asked to thoroughly investigate two charities of interest to them on The diversity of projects was huge, and ranged from a London based cleft palate and lip research centre to a campaign to help community health workers in Burma.

The students learned to evaluate each project according to a set of demanding criteria, particularly focusing on sustainable impact for the money invested. They were then placed into groups and asked to discuss their charities with their peers. As a group, they then chose one project to present to the judges.

The winning group presented on a project run by the Dalit Freedom Network. The runner-ups’ charities were Sparks and CORD. The judges agreed the overall standard of research and delivery in all the presentations was superb.

Gillie Howarth, who led the project at Westminster, said “The most valuable part of the experience for the participants was probably the negotiation within groups of three to settle on one project from the six they had investigated. It was excellent to see the generous team spirit which emerged and the respect for each other’s contributions. Thank you to the Big Give for providing us with this brilliant opportunity to explore the world of philanthropy. Let’s hope we are building a new generation who understand the importance of giving.”


If you know of any school that might be interested in participating, or have any questions about the scheme, please contact Sabina Wojtowicz, Philanthropy in Schools Programme Coordinator at the Big Give, at [email protected]

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