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Developing a children’s rights approach to fundraising with children in primary schools and the ethics of cultivating philanthropic citizenship

Body, Alison, Lau, Emily, Cameron, Lindsey, Ali, Shazza (2021) Developing a children’s rights approach to fundraising with children in primary schools and the ethics of cultivating philanthropic citizenship. Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing, . E-ISSN 2691-1361. (doi:10.1002/nvsm.1730) (KAR id:91717)

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Fundraising literature predominantly focuses on adult donors, with limited literature addressing younger donors, particularly children, and virtually no discussion on the normative ethics which inform fundraising with children. Addressing this gap, this article examines the ethical dilemmas posed by the mainstreaming of charity fundraising in primary schools. Regardless of high levels of participation, research with primary school pupils shows that children’s engagement in fundraising activities is often passive, with little decision making afforded to children. First, we question the ethics of passively engaging children in the fundraising relationship. Second, we question the role of fundraising more broadly in helping to cultivate children’s philanthropic citizenship, suggesting that current fundraising mechanisms in schools are counter-intuitive to fostering long-term philanthropic engagement. We argue that by critically engaging children in the process of giving, children develop a deeper understanding of the cause areas that matter to them, which cultivates a longer-term commitment to philanthropy. This is potentially a different goal than that of many organisations involving schools in fundraising, where the focus is on incentivising transactional fundraising efforts aiming to raise as much money as possible and thus raises particular ethical challenges which must be considered. In this paper we draw on previous research and established frameworks for understanding philanthropic behaviour to explore the ethical challenges of fundraising with children in schools and present a pathway towards a more child-led, children’s rights approach to fundraising in primary schools.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/nvsm.1730
Uncontrolled keywords: Fundraising ethics; children’s rights; primary schools; children; citizenship; philanthropic citizenship
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Alison Body
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 18:42 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 13:49 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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