Invest in the Future, Invest in Children’s University
Children’s University receives no core government funding, however, by operating as a membership organisation, we have been able to keep administrative costs low, retain a strong community ethos and respond quickly to local needs whilst scaling operations at an impressive pace.
Since our initial launch in 2007, generous investment from public agencies, grant-making trusts & foundations and private companies, has directly resulted in over 100 CU centres being established. Unfortunately, there are still some pockets of the UK where Children’s University remains a relative unknown but we are determined to reverse the situation. Conversely, in long-established areas demand frequently outstrips supply: in both instances, further investment is required.
In addition to increasing access, we are also busily working with learning partners, schools and children to create complementary initiatives which will enhance the core CU programme and ensure that children and their families derive maximum benefit from participation.
Although investment is vital please remember it is by no means limited to financial support: services, venues, products and staff time, skills and expertise all play equally critical roles. The CU Team work closely with all prospective investors, whether it is at a local, national and/or global level, and together create a bespoke package.
Interested in supporting Children’s University?
Why not start by having an informal chat with Caroline Gilbert, our Head of Business Development and Support. Caroline would be delighted to talk to you about Children’s University and any area of our work in more detail; not to mention, provide a far more tailored overview of potential investment opportunities. In the meantime, please consider the menu below as a snapshot of some (but certainly not all) of the different ways you could support Children’s University.
How you can get involved
We want as many young people as possible to benefit from Children’s University: better exam results, a broader skill set, wider interests, increased confidence/self-belief and a greater awareness of future education/career options. No Children’s University in your area yet? Help us to establish one and be publicly recognised, ad infinitum, as a ’Founder Funder’.
Together we can create an appealing package of fundraising/profile-building events which will motivate staff, attract new customers, retain existing ones and strengthen relations with suppliers. It will also generate positive media interest and raise essential funds for the charity.
The annual graduation ceremony is undoubtedly the highlight of every local CU centre’s academic calendar and represents the culmination of a year of hard work and commitment for the children involved. Parents, grandparents, siblings and teachers pack out the auditoriums of local universities and prominent civic buildings (e.g. the town hall) to watch children as young as five proudly cross the stage in their caps and gowns to collect their CU Degree Certificates.
Our unique children’s lecture programmes cover a diverse range of topics, reflecting the breadth of subjects offered at ’grown up’ universities albeit with a twist! Examples of popular lectures include ‘The Physics of Rollercoasters’ and ‘The Chemistry of Fireworks’ and partners have the option to sponsor individual lectures or a whole series of them: CU staff members work with sponsors to identify which topic(s) would best fit with an organisation’s corporate image/target market/product range/CSR strategy etc. Longer term, we wish to film each lecture so we can create an online catalogue which CU students across the globe can access.
Another burning ambition is to establish an honorary CU doctorate programme which recognises young people’s outstanding achievements akin to the schemes administered by ‘grown-up’ Higher Education institutions. Requests for nominations will be advertised nationally with significant input from the sponsor(s) in the decision-making/grant-awarding process.
CU Trust is committed to eradicating all barriers to participation in Children’s University. The Scholarship Fund has been established to subsidise costs for the lowest income families (e.g. attending the graduation ceremony) and offset any additional expenses incurred by families of disabled or seriously ill children. Eligible families are identified confidentially via schools/support agencies.
Return on Investment
CU staff work hard to maximise return on investment for each and every one of our investors. Examples of the principle benefits include:
- Positive brand association, powerful imagery for PR purposes, increased profile and media coverage
- Increased revenue-earning potential both here in the UK and overseas – access to a growing family market
- Rewarding and meaningful employee engagement opportunities which hone/develop transferable skills, increase levels of motivation, help retain staff and help differentiate your organisation from your competitors
- A highly effective mechanism to strengthen links with schools and universities – raise awareness of careers not only within your own organisation but also your industry and help to address anticipated future skills shortages
- Reinforce your company’s commitment to the communities in which it operates and help satisfy CSR milestones