Philanthropic Race with Time

This energizer activity provides a fast and fun way to learn about the word philanthropy and its meaning.

"My friends are much more likely to get involved if word gets out that what we are doing is fun. We need to get that message out. We need to be the messengers." 

- Youth participant at a Habits of the Heart conference

Print20 minutes

Youth will

  • pronounce the word and gain understanding of the concept of philanthropy.
  • build philanthropy vocabulary.
  • have fun!
  • ball or other item to pass
  • timer 
  1. The participants move into a large circle to play a game. The facilitator explains that an object will be passed around the circle while a timer is running. If the object comes to you, you are to catch it, say the word “philanthropy,” and then pass it on. If the timer rings before a person has passed it on, they are eliminated from the circle. Play repeatedly and count how many times you can say the word and pass it on in a given time, such as 30 seconds. 

  2. After a few rounds have been completed, the facilitator says that they will still throw the object, but instead of saying “philanthropy,” the person who has the object must say what philanthropy means to them. Rules remain the same and participants are eliminated in the same manner.

  3. Variation
    Participants say a word related to philanthropy, like service, and how it relates to them. Examples:

    1. Say the word "service"
    2. Share a service experience.


    1. Say the word "talent"
    2. Share how you use your talent for the common good.

    For more vocabulary, see this philanthropy glossary.


After playing, discuss ideas for making the game more meaningful and how it could be shared with other young people to get them involved in taking action for the good of all.