Engaging Gen Z ‘philanthro-kids’ through places of education

January 27, 2022
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At GivenGain, we’re seriously in awe of Generation Z’s fundraising clout. The world’s ‘philanthro-kids’ are as comfortable online as they are offline, and they’re fired up to make a difference.

But as a charity, how do you get young fundraisers excited about your cause? You meet them where they are!

Schools, colleges and universities are ideally placed for helping people, in the local as well as global community. And with students immersed in environments that develop organisational skills, emphasise teamwork and cultivate empathy, it’s no surprise that many student groupings are already doing great work for good causes.

Here are our top ways for charities to engage students.

Know your audience

Highlighting the things that motivate your audience is super important in your communication with supporters. To get your Gen Z supporters on board, connect your fundraising campaign to things that matter to them.

Staff members at St George’s International School in Switzerland took on the Run Mate Lac Léman for UNHCR and asked their students to support refugees’ right to education. To bring the value of small contributions home to their networks, the explained that a week’s support of one refugee’s schooling costs the same as just three pizzas.

Meanwhile, two universities in Manchester partnered with local organisations to fund an inclusive football-focused refuge and community hub programme, Football for Humanity, and let students know what impact £4 – the price of a pint – could make.

Student-led fundraising activities

The endlessly inventive ways in which young people fundraise for the causes they care about are a true inspiration. From live game streaming to fancy dress parties – or the tried and tested bake sales – there are countless ways in which groups of students can and do raise funds.

So why not reach out to your database of young charity supporters, let them know about the good they can do, and share some of the inspiration of other innovative projects before theirs? Borrow from our list of fundraising ideas, or add your own.

Team up with university and school societies

Students often join societies to find people with the same interests, skills and passions. Societies already have networks that they can fire up to make a difference, so they’re great partners for your charity.

Check with your local university to see if any societies have a mission that overlaps with yours. For example, the Exeter University Amnesty International Society's purpose is to “speak out against those that deny others the right to justice, freedom and dignity, and to protect the human in all that we do”. To put that into practice, they joined forces with Refugee Support Devon to raise funds and boost awareness of the challenges faced by refugees.

Get involved with existing events

Running, cycling or swimming events provide great opportunities to raise funds. Teams of participants can support each other through training and the event itself – and students often have enough free time to take part. The London Business School put together a team to run the Paris Half Marathon in support of the Flama Foundation. Alternatively, schools, colleges and universities can organise their own events, just like St. Mary’s College in Ireland who organised a 10K run/walk as part of their charity Christmas appeal, with both students and teachers taking part. The result – an incredible €21,228 raised for community projects in both Ireland and Africa.