What Do I Have to Give?
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify one local citizen who has helped the community through giving and/or service.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> in philanthropic giving.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.

Children define philanthropy and brainstorm different ways people share time, talent, and treasure for the sake of others. They may select a service project that fits their interests and talents and carry out a plan of action.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session, plus time to plan and carry out a service project

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as giving time, talent, or treasure for the common good.
  • choose action to share resources (time, talent, and treasure) with others in need.
  • identify the choice he or she gives up when choosing to donate.
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell children that you are going to teach them a new word and you want to see if they can pronounce it correctly. Tell them it is related to the word donate. Philanthropy is “giving time, talent, or treasure and taking action for the common good.” Write that definition on a new piece of chart paper or the display area. Practice pronouncing the word with the class.

  2. Discuss why people, like Sam in Sam and the Lucky Money, choose to share their time, talent, and treasure with others. Students may recognize that someone may have more than they need and want to help others, or someone gave to them and they want to give back. Ask them to think of adults they know that volunteer their time or share information to help others. This discussion may include an uncle who takes a neighbor to a doctor appointment, a sister who helps at the women’s resource center, or a friend who helps at the after-school program. Refer to local resources that are funded by philanthropy (museums, parks, soup kitchen).

  3. Talk about the children’s treasures (not just money), time, and talents that they can donate to help others. Brainstorm a list of time, talent, and treasures they have.

  4. Have the children investigate and brainstorm things they can do to help people who do not have enough food, clothing, or shelter. This may include having a sock drive, volunteering at a food pantry, inviting children to a party at a park with games and snacks. They may ask a local charity what their needs are.

  5. Encourage children to select the best way to donate their time, talent, or treasure to help the homeless in the community.

  6. Guide them to plan their action, carry out the plan, and reflect on the process.


Ask, "In what ways can you be lucky like Sam in the story?" Ask the children to reflect quietly about why someone might like to donate time, treasure or talent. Ask them to raise their hands and tell the class possible reasons to donate. Talk about the benefits when someone donates. Talk about the costs of donating, and tell children that every choice they make means they give up another choice. For example, what could you be doing instead of picking up trash from the park?