Programs are popping up in North America and the UK which educate children and teens about evaluating charitable causes before donating money to them. The programs, which teach students while they are sitting at their school desks, are designed to infuse students with a philanthropic outlook which will force charities to become more efficient, transparent, and accountable.
Ben Allcock, a fund-raiser for the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind says that the initiatives “can help create a cultural change. There’s a great potential for people to give much more intelligently.”
At one school in the UK students learn from the age of about 12 about charitable giving through a program called Philanthropy in Schools. This project started about 3 years ago and was developed by the Dragon School alongside an umbrella organization called The Big Give. This group collates information from over 7,000 charities worldwide.
“I had no idea how many different charities there were and now understand how hard it is to choose,” says one girl in the program. “I also did not realize that you have to read into it with so much depth. I had never thought about looking at the annual income” of a charity, she says.