Charities and Sponsorship Committee Guidelines
The Charities and Sponsorship Committee (CSC) is part of the Governing Body set up to consider the school’s involvement in any commercial promotion or charitable scheme.
Updated 9 January 2017
Many companies invest large parts of their marketing budgets in an effort to communicate with, and ultimately profit from, school children, staff and parents. Schools may need to attract financial and “in kind” support to supplement resources allocated by central and local government. Coleridge is not opposed in principle to such activities. Anyone in the school community will receive potentially useful approaches, or spot potential opportunities through the media. The Charities and Sponsorship Committee (CSC) is part of the Governing Body set up to consider the school’s involvement in any commercial promotion or charitable scheme.
Commercial Marketing ventures
There are many ways in which commercial organisations reach into schools:
- Sales Promotions: clearly designed to increase sales of particular products or within particular stores – such as crisps promotions or the Sainsburys vouchers for sports equipment promotion. Parents and children have to spend money in order for the school to benefit.
- Promotions which do not depend on money being spent, but which still demand something in return, such as information on buying habits, email address lists, financial status etc. While no money changes hands, the company gains access to information vital to them for future direct marketing campaigns.
- Cash or product donations to the school, which may or may not have strings attached, such as the donor wanting to use the school, and its donation, in future publicity material. This category might also include taking advertising space in souvenir brochures.
- Sponsorship and awards which aim to improve the image of a company or organisation as a “good corporate citizen”.
- Local businesses which aim to foster good relations with the school, and with the shopping budgets of parents, usually by inviting the school to send children for visits. Examples include Dunn’s the bakers and local restaurants.
Charities are often nowadays big businesses with powerful marketing budgets and they also target schools. They know that the influence of children on their parents can affect charitable giving significantly. The emotional impact of a charity appeal brought home from school is greater than that of house-to-house or street collections.
Key question when considering commercial activities
Do the educational benefits of the commercial activity outweigh any disadvantages?
Checklist for use when assessing a commercial activity:
- Does the activity add educational value to the curriculum?
- Is it free of incentives to children to engage in unhealthy, unsafe or unlawful activities?
- Has the business clearly stated its purpose in producing the activity?
- Is the activity based on accurate and current information?
- Are any expressions of opinion clearly distinguished from statements of fact?
- Is the activity as free as possible of explicit sales messages?
- If the activity requires specialist resources, was this made clear to you from the outset?
- Does the activity respect diversity of gender, race, faith or belief, disability and cultural issues and reflect contemporary UK society?
- Is the level of branding and logo use appropriate to the activity?
- Has the activity been developed with educators and piloted for school use with teachers and pupils?
- Is the activity relevant to your school?
- Has the business sought permission, where possible, before forwarding the materials to the school?
- Is it clear who the sponsor and target audience are?
- Can your school engage in the activity free from unreasonable restrictions or conditions?
Any proposal for sponsorship involving an entity in which any Governor or member of Coleridge Families has an interest must be declared both to Coleridge Families and the Charities & Sponsorship Committee, and that individual will not play any part in the discussions of or decisions relating to that proposal.
Some extra questions for collector schemes:
- Do the overall benefits of the collector scheme outweigh the costs to your school, pupils and parents?
- Are the terms and conditions of the collector scheme available to you before registration?
- Is the product involved one which you are content for pupils or parents to use?
Cash or product donations do not usually need to be referred to the CSC if nothing is required in return (including credits in programmes, PR photography etc). If anything is required in return, or if you are concerned as to the nature of the donor company, refer to the CSC.
Proposals which should always be referred to the CSC
Sales promotions, charity appeals; promotions which don’t involve sales, but do involve providing information; sponsorships and awards; local businesses approaching the school, especially for the first time. If you are in any doubt, refer the question to the Committee.