Understanding our Role

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

What does it mean to live philanthropically with our “treasure”?  In what ways do we impact nature through purchasing decisions? Participants will develop their understanding of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.  Through researching the ways companies engage in corporate social responsibility, participants explore the impact of individuals making purchasing choices based on environmental sustainability and ethics.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session and One 30-Minute Session

The learners will...

  • Understand the ways individuals can use their treasure to live philanthropically.
  • Investigate the way companies engage in corporate social responsibility.
  • Begin to articulate the ways individuals and corporations are interrelated in their ability to influence socially responsible behaviors, choices and products.
Teacher Preparation 

Article with directions for the strategy of Jigsaw Reading from Read Write Think


  1. Session One

    Anticipatory Set - Watch the Learning to Give video “Living Philanthropically: Treasure.”  Discuss the connection between this video and the previous lesson about our reciprocal relationship with nature.

  2. The video stated, “Even small contributions have a large impact.”  Do you agree or disagree with this statement?  Give evidence for your claim.

  3. In small groups, use the jigsaw method to collaboratively read and discuss the article from Forbes, “Millennials Driving Brands to Practice Socially Responsible Marketing.” Invite groups to share the key points from their assigned section of the article. Discuss. 

  4. Using the graphic organizer in Google docs or printable PDF below, research the ways three companies practice corporate social responsibility.

  5. Session Two

    As a whole class consider this quote from Robin Wall Kimmerer: 

    What is the duty of humans? If gifts and responsibilities are one, then asking "What is our responsibility?" is the same as asking "What is our gift?" It is said that only humans have the capacity for gratitude. This is among our gifts.

    What does the quote make you think?  What do you think Kimmerer means by gratitude being a gift?

  6. Share with the group observations from the individual research about the three companies. Discuss what surprised you in your research. What connections did you make? What is the most important thing you learned?

  7. Return to the quote, “Even small contributions have a large impact.”  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Has your thinking changed?  In what ways might you begin to use your individual power to make an impact?

Cross Curriculum 

As a group, read “No One is too Small to make a Difference” by Greta Thunberg

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Give examples of how civil society sector giving by individuals and corporations can impact communities.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how civil-society-sector giving can impact communities.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.11 Discuss the concept of corporate citizenship and corporate responsibility for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.11 Identify a corporation's responsibilities to its community.