Motivated to Give

9, 10, 11, 12

The learners identify motivations for giving and social action in the community. They promote giving and social action through persuasive writing.



PrintOne Fifty Minute Session

The learner will:

  • define community.
  • identify motivations for volunteering/giving.
  • small sticky notes, two colors 
  • copies of handouts below

Write a paragraph about a time you felt motivated to do something kind or to give to someone. What was your motivation?

  • Prince, Alan and Karen File.  The Seven Faces of Philanthropy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1994.  ISBN: 9780787960575


  1. Anticipatory Set: 

    Define and discuss this vocabulary.

    • Community: A group of people living in the same area and under the same government; a class or group having common interests.
    • Social action: The process of acting for the good of all.

    Give each learner two sticky notes On one sticky note have them write what they think motivates adults to volunteer, or be philanthropic. On the second sticky note have them write what might motivate them (or other teens) to get involved in volunteering/giving activities.

  2. Distribute the handout below, Motivations of Giving.

  3. As they are reading, list the seven motivations from the handout as column headings on a display area. After reading, briefly discuss the seven motivations. Read the following statements aloud and ask which motivation each one represents.

    • “Hey, one good turn deserves another, I always say.” - Giving Back
    • “I rather give locally than to a similar National Organization” - Being Part of a Community
    • “I guess I never really thought about it. It’s just something I’ve always done.” -Family Tradition
    • “I give when my accountant says it would be in my best interest.” - Good Business
    • “If the world is going to improve, we all need to pitch in.” - Selfless Concern
    • “Some of my best friends throw great fund-raising parties.” - Social Function
    • “Aren’t we told to “Do unto others as we would have them do unto us?” - Religion
  4. Have the learners look at their first sticky note that tells what motivates adults to give. They each place them under one of the seven categories that best matches their explanation. Discuss any new ideas or observations.

  5. Now distribute and have the learners read the handout: Top Ten Reasons for Youth to Volunteer. While they are reading, write the ten reasons on the display area.

  6. Have the learners reread their second sticky note (youth motivations) and come to the display area to place their comment in the column that best matches their personal motivation to give.

  7. Discuss the similarities and differences between adults and teens in the motivations for volunteering.

  8. Have the learners, using what they now know about the motivations and reasons for volunteering, write a persuasive essay, in the form of a letter, to a friend or family member intended to motivate them to participate in community philanthropy by giving time, talent and/or treasure for the common good.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the community, state or nation, such as petitioning authority, advocating, voting, group problem solving, mock trials or classroom governance and elections.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and contrast enlightened self-interest, egoism, and altruism as they relate to philanthropy and principles of democracy.