[content_protector password=”running”]Is it better to give a lot of money to one charity, or smaller amounts to lots of charities?

At the school where I teach, we have a charity wear-what-you-want-to-school day once a month (students ordinarily wear school uniform). In addition to that we have charity cupcake days, ice-block days, extra charity days, 40-hour famine day, bring in food for animal charities, participate in sponsored quizzes, hold fancy dress days, and a whole host of other things. Each of these days comes with making a gold-coin donation.

We’ve just had a charity day where our whole school raised well over $1000 for a charity that provides animals, food and water pumps for villages in need in Africa.

If you sat down and counted all the money that’s been raised – $100 here, $50 there, $1000 a couple of times – it would add up to a sizeable amount. Why not give it all to one charity, and then next year choose another one?

Personally, I would like to see my school support one charity for a whole year, and all the money that’s raised through cake sales, donations and sponsored this-and-that go towards a certain cause. At the end of the year, we could present a cheque to the charity for, say, $3000.

I get slightly embarrassed when, after a charity day we invite someone in and present a cheque for, drum roll please…, less than $100.

Yes, the counter argument goes like this: if fifteen schools all raised $100 for an animal shelter, then that’s a really useful $1500. Of course, the charity gets the same amount whether fifteen schools raise $100 each or one school gives $1500.

But, in order to raise awareness, a school should ‘adopt’ one charity for the year and really get into the cause: research where the money goes, find out how the charity helps; it begins to be part of the school work, all students get involved, staff and students volunteer their time to help, get word out into the community, highlight the important work the organisation does.

Then do the same the next year for a new charity.

One charity + one year = one large cheque!


What do you think?
[colored_box color=”green”]This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry amongst your students:  [/colored_box]  [colored_box color=”yellow”]Critical Thinking Challenges:

  1. Is it better to give a lot of money to one charity, or smaller amounts to lots of charities?
  1. How should a school decide which charity (or charities) to support?
  1. Why do charities ask schools to raise money for them?
  1. Why should schools raise money for other causes when a lot of schools (and local families) could do with the help themselves?


[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”green”]Practical Tasks:

  1. Which charities and causes has your school supported this year? How much was raised? Where does the money go?
  1. What causes are important to you? How would you go about persuading your teachers or principal to ‘adopt’ your cause for the school charity? Put together a presentation about a charity of your choice.

[/colored_box] [colored_box color=”red”]Have Your Say: [socialpoll id=”[socialpoll id=”2309375″] [/colored_box]


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