What Is a Philanthropist?

K, 1, 2

The children learn that even young people can be philanthropists. Philanthropy is giving time, talent, treasure for the good of the community.

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Session

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy as giving time, talent, or treasure for the good of the community.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the children they are going to learn a really big grown-up word. Let them know they are all "philanthropists." A philanthropist is a person who is generous and kind and wants the best for the group. Ask them for examples of when they (and others) are generous and kind. 

    As they give examples, acknowledge whether their actions used their time, talent, or treasure [or ties and testimony]. This helps them understand the range of philanthropy.

  2. Examples:

    • Time: I helped my neighbor rake leaves.
    • Talent: I drew a picture to cheer up my grandma when she was lonely.
    • Ties: I introduced two people who I thought could be friends.
    • Testimony: I told a friend facts from a book I read about the environment.
    • Treasure: I donated a stuffed animal to the children's hospital. 
  3. Before reading aloud a version of The Lion and the Mouse, ask children to pay close attention to the generous action of the mouse.  

    After reading, discuss the problem and solution from the book. How was the mouse able to help the lion? How was the mouse like a philanthropist?

    Say, "Just like you are a small person, a mouse is a small animal. Can small people make a big difference?"

  4. Sing the song, "What Is a Philanthropist?" from the handout below.

Philanthropy Framework

  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.