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19 June, 2006

Charitable Giving? It's about Mums and schools, says new report

‘Raising a Giving Nation’ indicates that most young people are primed to be generous by their home environment, but the inclination is given a significant boost by a lively and generous school ethos where young people get to take a lead in the action.

A new report to be launched today by Giving Nation states that young people who have taken part in charity activities at school are more likely to see themselves as long term givers of time and money and to have an increased level of commitment to future charitable behaviour.

Giving Nation, a programme run by the Citizenship Foundation to promote social participation through giving to others, has commissioned independent market research firm GFK NOP to undertake the research for the last 4 years For the first time ‘Raising a Giving Nation: A report on 3 years of research and activity with young people and schools’ has collated the findings.

‘Raising a Giving Nation’ reveals that “when charitable giving is promoted in their schools, young people become more enthusiastic about giving.”

It finds that exposing young people to charities and volunteering in their curriculum gives students the chance to express their beliefs together, and this coupled with highly participative and student led activities, reiterates the value of using their time, money and voice to shape their society, creating the charity-supporters of the future.

‘Raising a Giving Nation’s’ research reveals that charitable awareness has increased in all young people surveyed over the last year, citing in particular the influence of the Make Poverty History Campaign, the G8 Summit and the Tsunami appeal. However it was only students in schools that utilised Giving Nation resources who showed an increased enthusiasm for giving their time (as well as money) to charities in the future. 57% of young people questioned said they wished their school did more for charity. Cont…

Other trends highlighted in the report include why young people give (because they feel it is the ‘right thing to do’ rather than giving out of a sense of guilt or fun) and throw up a gender gap in charitable attitudes. The latter finds that young people are particularly influenced by the charitable behaviour of their Mothers (Fathers appearing to have no influence at all) and that girls hold a more positive view of charitable giving than boys!

The report goes on to illustrate the vital role of the new citizenship curriculum in showing how charities fit into society; seeing them as vital ‘voluntary social coalitions’ and so escaping the old stereotype of ‘do-gooders’. Charitable organisations are portrayed as social visionaries that not only offer leadership in society but also create the way in for ordinary people to realise their dreams of a better world.

G-Week 2006 will take place from 3rd – 9th July and offers schools a chance to strengthen their ‘giving’ ethos, put purpose into end of year fun, and recognise outstanding contributions from everyday activities.

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