It’s been a privilege this week working with two of the top schools in the UK, if not the world. We’ve been running our Musikscool event, where we ask a group of about 70 of their 16 year olds to create from scratch a music CD in one day, and to raise a heap of money for charity from it, also within the same day. My goodness, they have shown us a thing or two!
Our fundraising record so far has been at Wellington College, where they raised nearly £12,000 in the day, against a target of £10,000. Bear in mind that this is real money, to be donated online by the 5.00 deadline, this is impressive indeed.
So when we went to Roedean we asked the girls what they wanted to set as their target. “£20,000” shouted Emily. I wasn’t having that: we all know targets have to be acheivable otherwise they don’t work. No way was that realistic. So we settled on a mere £15,000. A stretch, but doable at a push.
Wrong. They are at £18,742, and going strong (take a look at their donations page), and they plan to get to £20k before the end of term. They will get there I imagine, as they have a cricket bat signed by the Indian team to auction, amongst other things.
Once they heard what Roedean had achieved, Eton of course went for the same target, and think it likely that they too will hit it before the end of term.
When we first started running these events over 10 years ago, there was no fundraising involved. Then someone suggested we do so, and we set a target of £1,000. Now we are looking at the prospect of asking for £20,000 each time, and not blinking when we do so. How our mental limits have been shaped by these young people! Quite remarkable.
It was interesting to see the different approaches between the two sexes (or was it the two different school cultures?). The girls were high energy, sleeves rolled up and on the phones twisting arms within minutes of getting started. The boys were more thoughtful, possibly more strategic thinkers, but slower off the mark as a result. They picked up pace eventually, but never matched the energy of the fundraising group at Roedean, where the word frenzy springs to mind in the last hour. But possibly Eton’s more strategic marketing effort may yet pay off: the high rollers have yet to come out of the woodwork maybe.
In both establishments we were greeted with charm, enthusiasm, passion and commitment: no shirkers, no moaners, no bad manners. A joy to be with, and a great advert for young people. It has inspired us to push the Musikscool concept that bit harder, and with our new event target of £20,000, we’ll soon have doubled our charity donations to £200,000. A worthwhile cause at all levels.
Here’s one of our favourite tracks so far: a cross between Radiohead and Coldplay, methinks. Enjoy!