Philanthropy, A Timeline For Us (9-12)

9, 10, 11, 12

Discover elements of philanthropy within their community and state during and immediately after World War II. Determine philanthropy in their community and state today and create a manual to donate to the school library.


Lesson Rating 
PrintSix Forty-Minute Class Periods (or three block scheduling sessions)

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy, community, and social dynamics.
  • recognize the various components of the community, his/her interrelationship, roles, and responsibilities.
  • analyze how social dynamics affect philanthropy in the community.
  • discover how his/her community participated in philanthropic acts during World War II.
  • discover how his/her community today gives of its time, treasure and talent for the common good.
  • prepare and publish a manual of philanthropy to be placed in the school library or media center.
  • Access to computers
  • Access to the philanthropy timeline at 
  • Paper
Home Connection 

The learners are to survey their extended families to discover activities relating to philanthropy in which they participate. Have them make a list and share it with the class. If they have friends or family members who participated in any activities during WW II, ask them to write those down and share with the class. Examples: some grandmothers may have folded bandages, blood drives, war bonds, food collections, sent cookies to soldiers, etc.

  • Salzman, Marian and Teresa Reisgies with Maribel Becker et al. 150 Ways Teens Can Make A Difference: A Handbook for Action. New Jersey: Peterson’s Guides, 1991.
  • A book for teens concerning how to get involved in one’s community and who to contact for information to do so.
  • Active Citizenship Today: Field Guide. Constitutional Rights Foundation, 1995. This five-chapter book for students details the idea of being an active citizen in a community through service learning components.
  • Duke University, a project of A project of the Digital Scriptorium, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library 
  • Center for the Study of Philanthropy


  1. Instructor’s Note: Invite a speaker from a local philanthropic agency to speak to your class about the agency or foundation, its history, goals and community impact. Suggestions: United Way, Girl or Boy Scouts, Big Brother and Sister, Red Cross, private family foundation in the community or state, or faith-based charity.

    Anticipatory Set:

    Define how community forms and functions in a crisis (its structure, components, and roles), emphasizing behaviors learned from the first three lessons in this unit.


  2. Develop the vocabulary of philanthropy with the learners. Discuss how each of the vocabulary items relates to identified agencies, foundations.

    • annual gift (n): Contributions made to nonprofit agencies in support of their yearly fund raising
    • benevolence (n): The inclination to be charitable – benevolent (adj.)
    • bond (n): A duty or binding agreement; an investment vehicle****
    • charitable deduction (n): The portion of a gift/donation (money or property) that can be deducted from the donor’s income subject to federal, or sometimes state, income tax
    • charity (n): Money or help given to aid the needy; an organization, fund, or institution whose purpose is to aid those in need – derived from the Christian concept of caritas, meaning love of one’s neighbor
    • community (n, pl. –ies): A group of people living in the same area and under the same government; a class or group having common interests and likes
    • fundraising (n): Soliciting money to benefit a cause or organization
    • foundation (n): An organization created from designated funds from which the income is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations or, in some cases, to people
    • in-kind contributions (n): Contributions of equipment, supplies, or other tangible property as distinguished from monetary grants
    • philanthropy (n): The giving of one’s time, talent or treasure for the sake of another, or for the common good 
    • grassroots organization (n): A group consisting of local participants who work together originally to improve upon their community and extend to a broader basis
  3. View the Philanthropy Timeline on

    Discuss the war bond effort and the status of US savings bonds today. Instructor’s Note: You may want to ask a local banker to come in and talk about this topic.

    Develop a master list of philanthropic activities within their community and state during WW II and to 1950. 

  4. Discuss the types and examples of foundations and agencies in their community. Students may investigate this through the Internet and interviews. 

    Tell them that they are going to create a manual of community resources that will inform themselves and other students about philanthropic resources. This may guide their philanthropic participation and awareness.

  5. Have the learners suggest items that should be covered in their manual of philanthropic resources. Vote and select the items. Include index, glossary and table of contents.

    Divide the class into peer groups most effective for the size of your class. Three to four is recommended.

    Have learners select a recorder and chair to plan the process for gathering information and producing their part of a collaborative class manual.

  6. Have the learners decide which elements or sections their group would be responsible for completing and develop the timeline for completion.

    • Learners will research, interview, write, and compile their portions of the manual.
    • Peer group edit research.
    • Bring class together to select final design and vote on cover, layout.
    • Learners will present their findings to the group prior to publication.
    • Compile and publish their manual.
    • Present manual to the school library.

Learners will complete a three-paragraph evaluation in which they analyze the effect of social dynamics on the WW II community and upon today’s community relative to their respective philanthropic responses. Evaluate the group work as to content developed and affective behaviors. Evaluate oral presentation by the group on their research.

Cross Curriculum 

Learners will produce a philanthropy manual of community philanthropic activities during the World War II Era and a list of philanthropic agencies in the community today.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define philanthropy to include giving and sharing; volunteering; and private individual action intended for the common good. Explain how a volunteer individual/group can act for the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.5 Describe civil society advocacy organizations and their relationship to human rights.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Explain charitable giving in economic terms related to tax structure.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
    3. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Describe how the common good was served in an historical event as a result of action by a civil society sector organization.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Describe the task and the student role.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.