Service Sparks: Family Donation Decision

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Consensus Building
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Make a decision as an extended family (or connected friends) to donate to a nonprofit everyone cares about. Each person can donate what they can afford and want to give. This family activity brings together passions and hearts for doing good.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects!


When everyone comes together, we find out what we have in common and what we all care about. This activity guides a group of people to a consensus regarding where they want to donate. They each contribute from pennies to dollars to a cause they care about. 




  1. Set up a phone call for lots of family members to talk about making a plan to put everyone's pennies and dollars together to contribute to something collaboratively toward a community need.
  2. First, find out what people care about. Each household can do the Map Your Heartbreak activity together. Talk about giving passions in each household, then get on the phone with the whole group and talk about what each household discussed.
  3. Identify the issue that came up most. For example: Pets that need homes, people who are hungry, plastics in the environment, or children who don't have books. Explore other issue areas and project ideas here. Look up nonprofit organizations that address the issues your family identifies. 
  4. Come to a consensus using a chart to compare the pros and cons of the issues and organizations that came up in discussion. 
  5. Each household pools their pennies and dollars to combine them (virtually) with the other households. Tally up the total amount and figure out how to donate one payment to the nonprofit the whole group identified. 

Reflection: Draw a large outline of a heart and illustrate the extended family (and friends) coming together to make a difference. Show the way people feel who worked together and donated; show the impact of the collaboration.

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  • educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  • equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  • empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).