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Philanthropy and Service-Learning: Why do they matter?

In today's world it can be difficult for kids to see opportunities or know what they are capable of beyond their own lives. They have little experience taking responsibility to address conflict and challenges. Research shows that a lot of youth feel anxiety and isolation. Together we can help them see potential in their communities! 

Learning to Give helps youth learn about their communities and how they can help others with their time and talent – their unique gift. Giving promotes happiness and purpose, while teaching the givers that they are a vital part of something bigger.

For a website overview, this sitemap describes what is available. 

10 Ways to Get Started

1. Get Inspired by Youth Action 

Visit our virtual story board to find group projects from educators and youth leaders who empowered young people through giving and service. You, too, could be featured on this page! 

Learning to Give educators and parents are just like you. They know young people are capable and caring. They expect more from youth and they get it. Here are a few of the inspiring stories of educators who used Learning to Give resources to share knowledge and action of generosity in community. 

2. Ease in with our TeachOne Initiative!

Each TeachOne one-session lesson is followed with a simple and powerful service project and reflection. These lessons spark meaningful discussions and service that centers on community building. 

3. Search for Lessons and Resources

Search for LESSONS by entering keywords (such as water, letter writing, The Lorax, or hunger) and grade level.

4. Introduce the Vocabulary of Giving

Teach an Introduction to Philanthropy lesson to build vocabulary and motivation to take action -- a great way for a whole school to get started. See this glossary of philanthropic terms

5. Plan a Year of Giving

Put philanthropy instruction into your calendar with service events by month such as International Day of Peace, Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, or Earth Day. 

6. Help Youth Identify Giving Passions and Build Community 

Search these toolkits by ISSUE AREA for lesson plans and project ideas, such as Water, Kindness, Veterans, and Arts. Start with the Blue Sky Envisioning Activity to get to know your group and help them recognize what they care about. Use the Map Your Heartbreak activity to match hobbies with caring. 

7. Build Your Background Knowledge 

Prepare yourself with our Professonal Mini-Courses. Learn from your desktop in under 45 minutes about concepts of philanthropy and civic action, how to teach philanthropy education or reflection, the history and role of philanthropy and nonprofits, or the strategy of service-learning. Upon completion, earn a certificate for professional development. See how the lessons and resources are supported by international philanthropy standards.  

8. Incorporate Supplemental Tools

A number of guides may be used in many settings and with many audiences to build motiviation and undestanding: Film Discussion Guides are engaging lesson starters, Literature Review Guides provide a context to giving and community, and Youth Activities provide structure for a year of youth group facilitation. Our YouTube channel includes youth projects and demonstrations, words from our philanthropic community, and helpful clips that support instruction 

9.  Whiteboard Videos Spark Giving-Inspired Conversations

What is Philanthropy? This energetic whiteboard video (featured above) defines, describes, and provides examples of philanthropy and service-learning, perfect to educate and inspire.

Understanding Advocacy and Action: This video provides examples of the power of advocacy and action. Philanthropy education and service-learning facilitate many ways to make a difference; and youth have the strength and power to give time, talent, or treasure for the common good.

Connecting Skills and Interests to Community Needs: What are your interests and skills? These can be used in meeting community needs as you take action for the common good.

Stages of Service-Learning: Service-learning connects learning to needs in the community. Follow the steps in the process outlined here to make successful plans with youth voice.

10. Contact a Regional LTG Ambassador 

Learning to Give has ten Ambassador Teachers who are eager to share their experience with you. Connect with them for conversation or training in how to use Learning to Give resources as a lens for teaching all subjects. Learn the principles and research behind the power of philanthropy education and service-learning. Gain the skills and knowledge to infuse generosity in a single classroom or whole school. See our Staff page to learn about these wonderful people in your region. Contact Katie Herrygers for a personal introduction. kherrygers@learningtogive.org