Children as young as four years old can help choose the charities their schools and families support, according to new research from the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, in the UK.
Researchers set out to find out how much children aged between four and eight understand about charitable giving. In total, 150 four-to-eight year-olds were asked by a team of 60 student researcher associates about their understanding of charity and their experiences of fundraising events.
The initial findings showed pupils were chiefly only aware of charities and events they had been taken part in at school such as Comic Relief, Children in Need or harvest festivals. Furthermore, they were often not aware of the reason for the event beyond it being something out of the ordinary.
The researchers then worked with the children to explain more about the range of charities and causes that can be donated too. This included helping them research areas they might want to give money to based on their own interests.
After this the children showed a greater understanding that they had the autonomy to select charities that they supported. They also became more engaged in developing their own ideas around charitable giving, rather than just following orders from teachers or parents.