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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Funding the cause

Join together and make a difference by fundraising for a cause that’s important to everyone.

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You’ll need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Device with internet access
  • Device to record videos

Before you begin

  • You may want to run this activity over two sessions, using one to find and decide a cause and the other to plan the campaign and event.
  • You’ll need to do ‘Time for thanks’ at the meeting after your fundraiser finishes.
  • Each group needs access to the internet to research – they could use a laptop, tablet, or phone.
  • ‘Time for thanks’ involves making a thank you video. You’ll need to let people (and their parents and carers) know in advance and get consent for anyone to be filmed if they want to feature.
  1. Everyone should split into small groups. Each group should get some scrap paper and pens or pencils.
  2. Each group should think about causes they care about and note down their ideas. They can choose a mixture of local and global causes. In the past, Scouts have raised money for all sorts of causes: local charities, A Million Hands partners, groups who need funds to fix their meeting place, or getting Scouts to international events like the World Scout Jamboree.
  3. Everyone should pick the cause they’re most interested in. It’s OK if more than one person chooses the same cause.
  4. Everyone should make some notes about why they chose the cause, what they could do to raise money for the cause, and what their fundraising target could be.
  5. Each small group should chat about everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Once everyone’s had a turn, they should vote on one cause to support.
    It’s up to them how they vote – they could raise their hands or vote anonymously by writing causes on scraps of paper.
  6. The person leading the activity should give each group a device with internet access. They should research their chosen cause to find out which specific charity they’ll raise money for, how they’ll show others it’s an interesting cause, and how the charity uses the money that people raise.
    People could also do this research at home between meetings, if that’d work better for your group.
  1. Each group should use their research to set up a station that tells everyone about their cause and fundraising ideas. Groups should create something visual, like posters or display boards, so their research and information is clear. If their ideas are chosen, they could reuse the posters at the end to communicate with potential donors.
  2. Once the stations are ready, half of the group should go around the room to visit the stations while the other half should stay where they are to look after their station and answer questions.
  3. Once the first half of the group have visited all of the stations, the groups should swap and the other half should visit all of the stations.
  4. Everyone should gather back together as a group. People should take it in turns to share their thoughts and ask any remaining questions.
  5. Everyone should vote to decide on one cause to support. It’s up to you how you vote – people could move to a station, raise their hands, or vote anonymously by writing their choice on a scrap of paper.
  1. Everyone should get back into their groups. Each group should chat about different fundraising campaigns they’ve seen.
    They could think about large events such as the London Marathon, smaller (but just as important) events such as quiz nights, challenges (like the Ice Bucket Challenge), or online campaigns. Some charities, such as WaterAid and WWF, create videos for people to share online.
  2. Each group should get pens or pencils, some paper, and a device with internet access. They should use all the campaigns they thought about as inspiration to begin creating their own campaign for the group’s chosen cause. They should jot down their ideas so they can share with everyone later. They should use the internet to find information that expands their ideas.
  3. Each group should decide what the campaign will be (for example, a quiz, sponsored activity, or challenge). Then, they should think about how it’ll work – how it will raise money for the cause. People could pay to enter, individuals could be responsible for finding their own sponsors, or people could pay to take on challenges.
  4. Finally, each group should set a realistic target of how much they’d like to raise and think about the timescale – when will they raise the money by?
  5. Everyone should gather back together.
  6. Each group should take it in turns to share their ideas. Everyone should work together to build on each group’s ideas – perhaps people can think of a way to take a campaign further or increase the impact.
  7. Everyone should vote to decide which fundraising campaign they’ll use. Again, people could raise their hands or vote anonymously on slips of paper.
  1. Everyone should split into campaign teams. Each team should specialise on a different aspect of the campaign. People could choose their team based on the skills they have or skills they’d like to develop; it’s a good idea if adults are on hand to support each campaign team. We’ve included some example teams below – feel free to switch it up to suit your group and campaign. The teams will need to check in with each other to make sure they’re on the same page and have a consistent message.
  2. Everyone should gather back together and each campaign team should share their work. The young people should take the lead on planning and agreeing the final details, but adults can offer support and guidance. They may also need to step in to make the final arrangements for things like the venue, equipment, supplies, and dealing with the press and social media.

Campaign teams

  • Campaign story: you’ll need a way with words to create a snappy title, mission statement, and press release for the campaign.
  • Advertising: you’ll need an eye for design to create posters and flyers that stand out from the crowd and promote your campaign.
  • Video media: you’ll need to grab the best shots and use your technical know-how to create a short video that promotes the cause and tells people how to get involved.
  • External communications: you’ll need to be confident chatting about the cause as you find ways to contact the local press and begin building a social media presence, all with an adult leader’s support.
  • Logistics: you’ll need to put your organisational skills to the test and see the bigger picture as you sort out the details, however big or small. From agreeing a venue to making sure the donation buckets arrive in time, your planning will help everyone pull it off.
  • Donations: you’ll need to get creative as you make it as easy (and enjoyable) as possible for people to give you money before, during, and after the event. You’ll need to check out all the options before you make decisions: cash buckets, online donation pages, or even contactless card machines.
  • The specifics of this part of the activity will depend on what you’re doing. You’ll need to make sure everything’s in place and ready to go, and make sure everyone knows their role in the plan. If your fundraiser’s online, make sure everyone knows how to stay safe.
  • You might count down to hit ‘post’ on social media, send an email into the wild, or start your event. If you’re fundraising in person, you’ll have to play your part in a team. It’ll probably be a hectic time, but try to take a moment to enjoy the experience too.
  • Online fundraisers aren’t the easy option though. Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean you can take a back seat – you’ll need to keep an eye on online fundraisers and monitor them as you continue to spread the word.
  • However you’re raising funds, don’t forget to take plenty of photos and videos to use to thank everyone (and make those press releases attention grabbing).
  1. Everyone should gather together and chat about how the fundraising event went. They should dive into the figures to find out how much they spent and how much they raised and calculate the final amount they donated to their cause.
  2. Everyone should work together to come up with three top tips to offer other fundraisers. Did they learn anything it would’ve been useful to know at the beginning of their venture?
  3. Everyone should split into small groups. The person leading the activity should give each group some pens or pencils, paper, and a device to record videos. Remember, you should’ve let everyone (and their parents and carers) know before filming. If anyone wants to be on camera, they’ll need their parent or carer to sign a consent form first.
  4. Each group should plan put a short ‘thank you video’ and a report to go with it. Together, the video and report should let people know how the fundraising event went, celebrate success, and thank everyone who played their part. They should include the details the group discussed earlier: the cost and how much they raised, the final donation amount, and three top tips. For inspiration, check out examples from the National Autistic Society, Crisis, and Scouts.
  5. Once everyone’s got a plan, they should begin to record their video. They should think about what can be seen (and heard!) in the background, and make sure their shot’s well lit. If they need to, they could use a torch. It’s best to avoid backlighting and digital zooming.
  6. If people need to, they should edit their video. Present your projects with videos, supported by Raspberry Pi, is full of top tips for getting the best shot and editing it in Adobe Spark (which is free).
  7. Everyone should publish the videos and reports so they reach the people who contributed by donating money or helping out.


This activity was all about being a local, national, and international citizen and understanding how people’s actions affect others. At the very start of the activity, people thought of lots of worthwhile causes. Were people’s choices very different? People’s causes may have been spread across the world. Did anyone choose Scouts? Scouts is a charity.

How did people feel during the fundraiser? Some people may have felt excited or proud that they were doing something to help others. Everyone should take a moment to reflect on how the money they raised will help other people. Can anyone think of the different ways people showed they cared? Some people may have helped with organising or running the fundraiser, while others donated time, resources, and money.


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Online safety

Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe. Take a look at our online safety or bullying guidance. The NSPCC offers more advice and guidance, too. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection CommandAs always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare, including their online experiences, follow the Yellow Card to make a report.

Phones and cameras

Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.

  • People can use the tools that make this activity more accessible for them, for example, coloured paper, tablets, or computers. Working in groups means that not everyone has to write. At the end of the day, it’s about raising money for a good cause – it’s OK if the grammar is a bit confused or the spelling isn’t exact, and people can always check with an adult (or an online dictionary).
  • The size of the groups is up to you – some people might feel more comfortable working in pairs of threes, while others will want to split the work between more people.
  • Talking about causes that are important to people could bring up sensitive topics. Remind everyone to be respectful – they can acknowledge that lots of causes are worthwhile, even if they need to choose one. No one should have to talk about anything personal unless they want to – but make sure they know that they have support if they want to chat (and always follow the Yellow Card).

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

People used plenty of different skills for their successful fundraiser and there are plenty of badges to help them take these further. Anyone who enjoyed spreading the word and event planning could get stuck into the Scouts or Explorers Media Relations & Marketing Activity Badge, and the Scouts Photographer Activity Badge may be perfect choice for anyone who enjoyed the video part of this activity.

Young people are the force for change in this activity as they choose a cause that matters to them. The details of their campaign are up to them – the adults are just on hand to offer guidance and keep everyone safe.