Funny business

15th February 2013 at 00:00
Fundraising can give children skills for life, this Dragon says

Money is like a tool: it is only worth something if you use it. Raising money for charity is the perfect example and on trips with Comic Relief to Ethiopia, I have seen what a force for change it can be. You can create a bit of financial muscle by stimulating your pupils' innate entrepreneurial abilities, benefiting Red Nose Day and in the process introduce them to powerful tools they can use in the future.

Selling the Dinosesaur red noses (available for schools to order at rednoseday.comrednosesforschools) is a great opportunity to create a competition in which classes compete against each other to find the most creative ways to raise funds.

The class could be divided into smaller teams initially, to come up with competing fundraising business ideas. The teams could then present to their peers before the class votes for the best project. Better still, pupils could present their ideas to the parent-teacher association a la Dragons' Den. That way they could practise their communication and visual presentation skills and get a grilling (by which I mean be gently quizzed).

Pupils would learn the importance of working well as a team, and develop their creative and decision-making skills by drawing up a well-thought-out business plan with projected costs. Roles would need to be allocated. Who are the managers and motivators? Who are the publicists? And who works best on the ground? Then there is the target audience: teachers, parents, pupils or all three? And how will they promote their idea?

On the day itself, participants would need to organise their time, setting up and taking down their stall or display and managing their takings, making sure everything is accounted for.

There could be a prize for the winning team. Pupils could then analyse their team's strengths and weaknesses and the winning team could do a presentation to the whole school as part of a celebration of Red Nose Day success.

Duncan Bannatyne, a regular on BBC Two's Dragons' Den, grew up in modest circumstances. His mother could not afford to buy him a bike, so he persuaded the local newsagent to let him start a paper round by knocking on doors and drawing up a list of 100 potential customers. His adult business career began with a #163;450 ice cream van. He now owns a chain of luxury spas and health clubs and was appointed OBE for his charity work.

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