Profit and Nonprofit Organizations

K, 1, 2

Children learn that the community has four sectors: business, government, nonprofit, and family. The children may walk through an area in their local community to identify which sector is represented by different places. As an alternative, they may look at a local map. 

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Session

The learner will:

  • become aware that their community is made up of business, government, philanthropy, and family.
  • recognize that giving to the community is a responsibility and that giving takes many forms.
  • Field trip permission
Home Connection 

Children may ask adults they know which one of the four economic sectors (household, government, business, nonprofit) they work in. Also, adults may be able to name philanthropists (donors or volunteers) in the community.


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Show a picture of a [local] community park. Ask the children if this is an important part of the community and discuss why. List the benefits of having a park in the community. Who uses it? Do they have to pay each time they visit the park? Tell the children who pays for the park - owning the land, improving it, and maintaining it. Make them aware that parks may be owned and cared for by the government, donated through philanthropy, part of a business, or privately owned. Talk about why they would pay for the park and make it available to all. 

  2. There are four sectors of a community. They are government, businesses, philanthropy and family. The many things that make their community what it is are maintained by one of these sectors. Each of these sectors plays an important role in making the community a pleasant place to live and work.

    • Prepare the group for a walking field trip in the community. Talk about what they will see on their walk. As they walk by buildings, businesses, parks, statues, organizations, police stations, and so on, talk about its purpose and whether philanthropy contributed to it.
  3. This resource - Open Doors to Your Community - introduces children to different resources in the community, especially nonprofits, or philanthropy.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
      2. Benchmark E.5 Define the terms "profit" and "not-for-profit."
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Define each of the sectors: business, government, civil society, and family.
      3. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name and recognize the civil society sector as a separate part of the community.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 02. Careers In The Nonprofit Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Describe a job in the civil-society and for-profit sectors.