We Do Our Share

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will identify their own personal reasons for giving, review community characteristics and needs, raise funds for a philanthropic project, and form a grant-making committee to name recipients for the grants.

Lesson Rating 
PrintFive Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learners will:

  • select personal motivations for giving and describe the reasons why teens volunteer.
  • analyze the value to the community and nation of teenage philanthropy.
  • use previously collected information related to the “human characteristics of the place” which is their community, to identify a need in it.
  • conduct class meetings and form a grant-making committee to make decisions about philanthropic giving.
  • provide a needed service in the community.
  • Small self stick notes
  • Top Ten Reasons for Youth to Volunteer (Attachment One), teacher reference
  • Profile of American Teenagers (Attachment Two), teacher reference
  • Student copies of Running a Business Meeting (Attachment Three)


  1. Anticipatory Set:Distribute to each student a small self-stick note. Have students walk around the room looking at the posters from Lesson Three: The Community Foundation at Work, which illustrate a motivation for charitable giving. As the learners see the posters, ask them to write down the motivation(s) they feel would pertain to any charitable giving they might do in the future. Tell them to attach the self-stick note to the inside cover of their notebook (or textbook).

  2. Explain that in the last lesson the learners looked at several motivations for giving. Ask the learners to brainstorm reasons why youth (or young people) should volunteer. Using Top Ten Reasons for Youth to Volunteer (Attachment One), explain that there are at least ten good reasons for youth to volunteer:

    1. Gain job experience
    2. Improve Your Health and Self-Esteem
    3. Meet Community Needs
    4. Gain Entrance to College
    5. Meet New People and Establish Friends, Connections and References
    6. Gain New Skills and Develop Talents
    7. Spread Positive Energy and Hope
    8. Make the World a Better Place
    9. Personal Growth
    10. It’s Fun!
  3. After discussing the ten top reasons, ask the learners to pull out their self-stick notes and add any of the above motivations which might induce them to become a youth volunteer. Put the self-stick notes away until the end of the lesson.

  4. Ask the learners to number a page in their notebooks or a blank sheet of paper from 1 to 6. Tell them that they are going to test their beliefs about teenagers and philanthropy. Ask the following six questions with students writing their predictions about the real answers: (NOTE: All questions refer to the decade of the 1990s.)

    Quick Quiz on Teenage Philanthropy

    1. The area with the greatest percentage of teen volunteers is (a) recreation; (b) religion; (c) environment; (d) youth development; (e) education.
    2. True or False: Babysitting for no-pay is considered philanthropy.
    3. True or False: Less than 50% of American teens volunteered in the 1990s.
    4. True or False: The average number of hours teens volunteer is three hours per week.
    5. True or False: More 17 year olds volunteer than 13 year olds.
    6. True or False: The amount of money teens contribute is in the millions of dollars each year.
  5. b

    • True, it is a type of informal philanthropy
    • False
    • True
    • True True, teens contributed over 9.5 million dollars in 1995.
    • At this point, urge the learners to remember Looking at Our Community through the Five Themes of Geography (Attachment One, Lesson Two: Looking at Our Community), Looking at Our Community through the Eyes of the Media (Attachment Two) and Community Survey (Attachment Three) which they did in the second lesson. In that set of documents, the learners developed a good view of human characteristics in the place which is their community. Ask them whether, in their best interests and the best interests of the community, if it would be a worthwhile exercise for the class to consider a volunteer activity. Allow the class two or three minutes to brainstorm about the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in an activity of philanthropy.
    • Explain that if the learners are going to volunteer in an activity, they will have to agree on decisions for the whole group. When decisions have to be made, it is to the advantage of everyone to have a procedure which allows members to make decisions calmly with the input of everyone present. “Parliamentary Procedure” using Robert’s Rules is used to make sure that decisions are made in an orderly manner.
    • Distribute copies of Running a Business Meeting (Attachment Three) and go over the information provided.
    • After the learners are clear on the information, arrange the class into a class meeting for students to practice using the procedure.DECISION: Students must decide on a quick fundraiser that will enable them to raise some money to use in their philanthropy project. The guidelines are that the fundraiser must be:
      • Quick, preferably take only one day, but may take a few days to plan.
      • Involve the whole class in planning and execution.
      • Has the potential to raise at least 100 dollars.
      • Will not disrupt the school schedule.
      • Can receive teacher and administrative approval.
  6. (Possible projects can include: collecting pop bottles, selling school decals or bumper stickers, conducting a dance, conducting a run or walk for pledges, conducting a bake sale or bagel sale, showing a movie and selling refreshments, selling refreshments at a local sporting event, etc.) Ask for volunteers to serve as chairman and secretary (students may also take turns). Announce the “problem” for the meeting. Have the students use the guidelines in Attachment Three: Running a Business Meeting to run the meeting. Run the exercise until a fundraiser is selected.

  7. After obtaining administrative approval, complete plans for the activity and conduct the fundraiser.

    • Now that the funds have been raised, congratulate the learners for their achievement and evaluate what the students learned from conducting the fundraiser.
    • Reconvene the class meeting as a grant-making committee with a volunteer chairman and secretary. Conduct the meeting using the guidelines in Attachment Three: Running a Business Meeting and let the learners decide to whom they will give a grant of the money collected. To begin, it may be helpful if they describe the goals of the project and the consequences for the community. It is up to the learners (and the amount of money available) as to whether the funds will be given to one place or more than one place. (NOTE: Students should use the information from the community sheets from Lesson Two: Looking at Our Community to help make their decisions.) Students may break up into teams to research organizations in the community or may wish to give money to the Community Foundation with the recommendation that it go to a specific cause. If research teams are used, they should build a case, for giving, to the whole class in short five-minute presentations, explaining why resources (money) are needed by the organizations they have researched, and how funding this group will benefit the common good. Once the presentations have been made, conduct the selection process using the rules of order.
    • Distribute private funds as a grant-making committee. A representative of the organization(s) selected may be invited to the class for a presentation or the class may wish to present the grant at the site selected.
    • Have the learners evaluate whether the philanthropy project was successful by identifying outcomes from the service. What was learned about the community and the potential of teens in philanthropy from the activity?
    • Have the learners pull out their Post-It note from the beginning of the lesson. They have listed on it:
      • Motivations they may have for charitable giving;
      • Advantages of teen volunteering that might have encouraged them to be a philanthropist of time, talent, or resources.

Ask the learners to think about this lesson and describe how their perceptions about teen volunteers (philanthropists) have changed as a result of this activity. Did they realize the value of teen philanthropy? Is their philanthropy meaningful? Is the community a better place because of it? some of the needs of the community that were considered for a grant and discuss how the community benefited from the class’ choice. their own thoughts about their personal “motivations for giving.” What motivations encouraged their contributions to the class’ efforts and will likely be future motivations for personal volunteering (philanthropy)?

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will conduct a fundraiser to obtain funds. They will act as a grant-making committee to make decisions about who will receive the funds collected. The local community foundation or another local service organization may receive the funds.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Build a case for giving, explaining why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Distribute private funds as a grantmaking committee.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.