Introduction to Philanthropy

Learning to Give  offers introductory units for each grade level (K-12) to help you introduce the concepts of philanthropy to your students and build vocabulary and motivation to take action. These units and lesson plans introduce a common language of giving and service and help youth understand why civic responsibility is an important part of our society.  Search by the unit title below, or view lessons and descriptions here

“I believe that learning must be connected to real life if it is to have meaning for students. (I want to) set my students on a path to caring for others and the environment so they may grow to lead responsible, productive lives.” –elementary teacher, Michigan
 

This Is Philanthropy and Service

This 3-minute video introduces the concept of philanthropy to your students.

Kindergarten: We Can All Do Our Share

Introduce the word philanthropy and define as giving time, talent and treasure for the common good. Kindergarten students learn about personal conduct and group cooperation. Students are given the opportunity to practice cooperative behaviors like sharing and taking turns. 

First Grade: Living in a Community

Students learn what it is to be a philanthropist. The students recognize their classroom is a community that works together for the common good. Students gain understanding through literature, song, and personal experiences of what it means to be both a community member and a philanthropist.

Second Grade: Our Land

The Woody Guthrie song "This Land is Your Land" is used to communicate the concepts of philanthropy, private property and commons. The students identify common areas in the school and community and recognize responsibility for common areas.

Third Grade: Philanthropy Is Everywhere

Students define philanthropy and recognize its importance to and effects on the community. The students will identify their classroom as a community and explore ways in which each individual can support their classroom community by doing philanthropic deeds. 

Fourth Grade: Community Philanthropy

Students define philanthropy and learn about the contributions made by Benjamin Franklin to the common good. They categorize his accomplishments in the nonprofit, business, and government sectors. They select and illustrate a quote from Franklin that they would like to apply to their own lives. 

Fifth Grade: Our Philanthropic Tradition

Students listen to and discuss a literature book about philanthropy in the African American community that will enhance the student’s understanding of the democratic tradition of philanthropy.

Sixth Grade: A Call to Action

Students define philanthropy and brainstorm how their time, talent, and treasure can be used to address needs in their school, neighborhood, and larger community. They investigate nonprofit organizations.

Seventh Grade: Philanthropy—You and Your World

Students define philanthropy and brainstorm how their time, talent, and treasure can be used to address needs in their school, neighborhood, and larger community. They investigate nonprofit organizations.

Eighth Grade: The Power to Make a Difference  

Learners learn vocabulary associated with philanthropy and gain awareness of the rich history of philanthropy in the United States. They investigate a nonprofit organization and write persuasively about its mission.  

Ninth Grade: Philanthropists in Our Midst

Learners define philanthropy and describe the significant impact that philanthropists have made in American civil and political life. Learners recognize qualities in a local philanthropist. 

Tenth Grade: The New Philanthropy—A Hands-On Way of Giving

This lesson develops a common vocabulary and understanding of philanthropy, identifying philanthropists as people who give time, talent, and treasure and take action for the common good. They hold organizations and people accountable for their actions with the common good as their motivation.  

Eleventh Grade: Sports Legends and Philanthropy—Jackie Robinson, Arthur  Ashe and Jackie Joyner-Kersee

The learners read about the philanthropic efforts of famous people. They research the work of local philanthropists and use them as a model for their own philanthropic behavior. 

Twelfth Grade: Launching Your Ship with Citizenship

The learners read about the philanthropic efforts of famous people. They research the work of local philanthropists and use them as a model for their own philanthropic behavior.

Note: Although there is one grade level designated, each unit is correlated to CCSS and each State’s Academic Standards for three or four grade levels.