A Motivated Cast
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.5 Analyze the function and role of the civil society sector in economic systems using basic economic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Explain why needs are met in different ways by government, business, civil society and family.
      2. Benchmark HS.6 Describe how the civil society sector is often the origin of new ideas, projects and innovation and social renewal.
    3. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and contrast the basic terms and operations of the for-profit, government, family, and civil society sectors.
    4. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and discuss the interaction of families, business, government, and the civil society sector in a democratic society.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss and give examples of why some humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.7 Explain why the civil society sector rather than the government or private sectors address particular economic areas.
    3. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify and describe civil society sector organizations whose purpose is associated with issues relating to "human characteristics of place" nationally and internationally.
  3. 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. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and contrast enlightened self-interest, egoism, and altruism as they relate to philanthropy and principles of democracy.
  4. 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.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.

In this session, we learn about the sectors of civil society sector - business, government, and nonprofit. Youth watch the second half of the documentary The Gift of All and talk about the issues in West Michigan and the motivations of the philanthropists who made a major difference in the area. They also write a personal mission statement.

PrintTwo 50-minute Sessions

The learner will:

  • identify the four sectors of society and explain how the civil society sector steps in when other sectors cannot or will not meet a need.
  • define civil society and nonprofit company.
  • identify seven motivations for giving.
  • write a personal mission statement.
  • DVD copy or streaming video of The Gift of All: a Community of Givers, produced by The S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy
  • copies of handout Seven Motivations for Giving
  • copies of handout Personal Mission Statement

The Gift of All: a Community of Givers, produced by The S.O.U.L. of Philanthropy along with The Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Calvin College. Copyright © Grand Rapids Public Library, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008, 2009. Streaming video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmaJoQicCEE 

  1. Day One

    Anticipatory Set:

    Ask youth what they would do if they wanted a new pair of jeans. Some may respond that they would go to the store to buy them. This is an example of the business sector meeting this need.

    Say, "You would not expect the government sector to provide the jeans because that is not an appropriate use of tax money."

    "If your family does not have enough money to buy new jeans, you can also count on the civil society sector to meet this need. Organizations that collect donations of clothing will be happy to provide this service. The civil society sector steps in when the other sectors cannot or will not address a need."

  2. Define civil society sector as nonprofit organizations and volunteers (Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, United Way). A nonprofit company is an organization whose income is not used for the benefit or private gain of stockholders.

  3. In the second half of the documentary The Gift of All, we will learn that downtown Grand Rapids had some issues that were not addressed by government or business. Ask the viewers to watch for information about the role of the civil society sector in West Michigan. What caused the civil society sector to step up and address a need to benefit the common good? What were its motivations?

  4. Discuss these ideas from the film: issues or needs, the term "multiplier effect," what motivated people to give, benefits for the whole community, and new challenges for the next generation.

  5. Day Two

    Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the youth to think about how they approach homework. Do they get right to it and get it done, or do they prefer to save it for the last minute and use the deadline as a motivator? List some of their motivators: good grades, want free time, financial reward, satisfaction of good job, values, etc.

  6. In the documentary, they saw the individuals in West Michigan motivated to give by several factors. Refer to the motivations chart below based on research about motivations for giving. Analyze how the research relates to the individuals in West Michigan, to themselves, and to their community. They may recall comments from the documentary that support one of these seven motivations. (e.g., I heard the narrator say that people in West Michigan were motivated by their faith.)

  7. Ask the learners if the following statement is true: “Only very rich people are able to give." Discuss why this isn't true, leading them to state that everyone can give in some way and they have a lot to contribute.

    • Ask them to highlight two motivations on the handout that reflect their own motivations for giving. 
    • Ask what they care about in the community, such as helping special needs students, educational issues, environment, illness, justice and fairness, and hunger and poverty. 

    Knowing your motivations and interests is a good start toward writing a personal mission statement. A personal mission statement gives you focus and helps you make decisions. The handout below guides youth to write their own mission statement.