Young fundraisers are raring to go, but there are ethical and legal considerations to securing their support. The Fundraising Network have found the sweet spot.

You’ll likely be familiar with stories of children raising hundreds of dollars through garage sales, challenge events, and cake-bakes. Or perhaps you’re acquainted with the, now viral, story of 12-year-old Gabriel Clark, who has raised £254,678 (against a target of £5,000) for the Ukraine through his inspirational woodwork and messages of hope.  

Fundraisers are in no doubt of the powerful contribution our younger generations can make to changing the world, and raising the funds needed to make that happen. But soliciting gifts from children and young people under 18, and involving them in fundraising, comes with significant ethical and legal considerations (different rules apply in each Australian state and territory, but consent from a parent or guardian to involve children in fundraising is required across the board, in line with minimum age requirements that vary across the country).  

So how can we harness the energy and goodwill of young people – and nurture our supporters of the future – in an ethical way? There’s one organisation who are giving it their best shot.  

In a global-first, crowdfunding experts, The Funding Network (TFN), are launching a fundraising platform for kids. Giving Heroes will allow allowing Aussie children aged 8 – 14 to easily raise money for causes they care about.  

The mechanism  

Giving Heroes, launched in April 2022, brings young people together to:   

  • Learn about and vote on charities that they want to support   
  • Raise funds and awareness by choosing from several fundraising activities or creating their own   
  • Attend the first Giving Heroes virtual live crowdfunding event on 18 June where they will hear directly from charities and connect with like-minded young people   
  • Pledge their donations and see them doubled by Giving Hero Partner, the Waratah Education Foundation 
  • Learn about the collective impact of their support over time 

Consent and focus  

The Giving Heroes initiative was created after careful consultation with parents, caregivers, children, and educational leaders. Parents and carers had responsibility for registering their children on the campaign website, with the ability to vote on charities until 18 May 2022.  

Giving Heroes used the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a safe, sustainable, and inclusive global society as its guiding light, providing clear direction to young supporters and enabling them to turn these SDGs into action.   

In line with the SDGs, the Giving Heroes initiative believes that every child should have a safe place to sleep, enough food to eat, and the opportunity to learn and grow; and it empowers young people to be changemakers and advocate for those less fortunate than them.   

We caught up with TFN’s Skye Cooper to find out more.  

Skye, hello! First up, in your own words, what is Giving Heroes?  

A global and Australian first, Giving Heroes is a platform that connects young people with causes they are passionate about and supports them to be active changemakers. 

Why did TFN think of this initiative – what was the impetus? 

Australian research has highlighted the importance of personal values forged in childhood for shaping an individual’s giving. We believe Giving Heroes will introduce young people to the joy of giving and lay a strong foundation for lifelong giving behaviours.  

All over the world, we are seeing young people speak up for a better and fairer world. Their voices are a powerful vehicle for change. Giving Heroes is a platform for young people to take a stand, make a difference and determine their future. 

Our aim is to:  

  • Inspire the next generation of givers to make giving an everyday part of their lives. 
  • Engage kids in discussing the issues they care about, showing them how they can be part of the solution. 
  • Involve their friends and families in meaningful and fun activities to raise funds and learn about issues. 
  • Build the capacity of grassroots nonprofits, providing a platform to showcase their work and raise funds. 
  • Learn about the impact their pledges can have, no matter their level of support. 
Does TFN have a target for how many sign-ups they hope to secure for Giving Heroes and how much they hope to raise? 

No, this is our first Giving Heroes event so we don’t really have a benchmark for either. But 764 children voted by the 18 May deadline!  

Can you tell me a bit more about the event on 18 June? 

After weeks of fun and fundraising, young people and their parents will all come together across Australia for a very exciting virtual event. They will get to hear directly from the three charities they are helping and get the chance to pledge the money they have worked so hard to raise. And the best bit, a Giving Hero partner will match their donations, so it is double the impact! 

Which nonprofits did Giving Heroes vote for?  

The NFP Finalists are Eat Up (who provide school lunches to children experiencing food insecurity), the Pyjama Foundation (who provide educational and life skills support to children in foster care), and the Stella Bella Little Stars Foundation (who brighten the lives of children living with serious and long-term illnesses).  

The three finalists will be at the event on 18 June and the young Giving Heroes will be able to donate money across the organisations as they choose. You can learn more about the finalists, and see their voting pitch videos, here.  

Nonprofits that narrowly missed out are: Happy Paws Happy HeartsDeadlyScience, and Project Rockit.  

How will you keep in touch with these fundraisers given they are children? 

Parents/carers must sign up on their children’s behalf – so we will be keeping in touch with the them as the primary caregivers. This will be via eDMs, paid advertising, organic advertising, and we are working with a PR agency who are pitching to different media outlets. 

Young ambassadors are also an important part of the initiative and are featured on this dedicated page.   

Thank you Skye! Now let’s find out a bit… 

… more about those ambassadors  

Featuring the voices of the young Giving Heroes is an inspiring and heart-warming feature of the initiative. Over on the ambassador page, a video and quotes share the motivations of a handful of the young people supporting the campaign. 

Australian journalist, columnist, and author, Jacinta Tynan, along with her two sons aged 12 and 10, are also Giving Heroes ambassadors.

Jacinta Tynan and her sons.

“I fully support Giving Heroes as I want my kids to experience the joy of giving back and doing their bit to make a difference,” says Jacinta.  

“I have long been a supporter of The Funding Network and am confident that, through Giving Heroes, we will inspire the next generation to be a valuable part of a thriving social sector by donating their money, time and talent.”   

TFN have also received support from The Snow Foundation, the Australian Communities Foundation, Kids Giving Back and Philanthropy Australia (PA).

“TFN believes Giving Heroes will introduce young people to the joy of giving and lay a strong foundation for lifelong giving behaviours, perfectly aligning with Philanthropy Australia’s recent Action Plan to double giving by 2030,” says PA CEO, Jack Heath.  

18 June, here we come 

With causes that clearly support both the UN SDGs and kids experiencing adversity; suggested fundraising activities that include a Sleepover Challenge, Superhero Movie Night, Sandcastle Challenge, Hero Car Wash, Cake Bake Sale; inspiration and leadership from peers; and backend process that tick ethical and legal boxes for the involvement of children, TFN’s Giving Heroes campaign is set up for success.  

We will be watching on 18 June and wishing both the Giving Heroes – and the fellow children they seek to support – every success.  

 

To learn more, visit www.givingheroes.com.au 

To learn more about The Funding Network, including how to apply as a featured charity in one of their crowdfunding events, visit www.thefundingnetwork.com.au.  

Giving Heroes social handles:  

Additional Information:  

 

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