Personal Giving Mission Statement (A): Penny Drive

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will create a personal mission statement of responsible, engaged citizenship applicable to community service and philanthropy. This lesson may be used with a collection drive or penny drive to raise money or goods to address a community need.

Focus Question: How does an individual use personal interests and strengths to impact the common good?

PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define philanthropy and identify at least seven character traits of a participatory citizen.
  • describe the purpose of mission statements for organizations and design a personal mission statement supporting philanthropy.
  • hold a penny drive or collection drive.
  • Toolbox with basic carpentry tools including, but not limited to, blueprint, tape measure, chisel/file, hammer, level, clamp, etc.
  • Student copies of  handouts:
  • Sample Mission Statements
  • Personal Giving Mission Statement Rubric
  • Volunteer Questionnaire

Have each student write a one or two sentence response to at least three of the following prompts:

  1. During this service project, I learned how to…

  2. During this service project, changed my mind about…

  3. During this service project, I was feeling…

  4. During this service project, I thought ….

  5. During this service project, I was hoping that…

  6. During this service project, I became convinced of…


  •  Use this site for additional information about responsible citizenship.
  •  Use this site for information related to nonprofit organizations and their mission statements.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Bring a toolbox, or borrow one from the Industrial Arts class, that contains a blueprint, tape measure, chisel/file, hammer, saw, level, clamp and/or misc. other tools. Ask the learners what these tools might be used for.Lead them to a response that includes building or repairing something. Display the tools and discuss their function(s). Ask the learners what tools a student might need to help him/her be a better student. Follow up this discussion with the question, what tools do responsible citizens need in their “toolbox?” To answer that question focus on what constitutes a responsible citizen.

  2. Put the word philanthropy on the display board. Ask the learners for their own definitions of the term. Explain/review that philanthropy is “the giving of time, talent or treasure for the sake of another, or for the common good.” Philanthropy also includes voluntary action for the public good, or giving and serving to promote human welfare. It is something that responsible citizens do. Ask the students to name examples of people or acts that illustrate giving time, talent and treasure for the common good.

  3. Divide the class into small groups. Ask learners to brainstorm what civic virtues might constitute a responsible citizen. Place their responses on the display board or overhead. Possible civic virtues include: responsibility, citizenship, loyalty, advocacy, critical thinking, listening, questioning, introspection, awareness of self-bias/prejudiced views, etc.

  4. Using the tools, have the class relate the tools to the civic virtues they have identified. Examples might be:

    • Tools Sample analogies
    • tape measure: measures growth
    • chisel/file: breaking down bias/prejudice
    • hammer: motivation/building up
    • level: listening skills/common sense/making things better
    • clamp: joins people together
    • saw: cuts across barriers
    • tool box: whole person with civic virtures
    • blueprint: mission statement
  5. Write the word Mission Statement on the display board and ask for volunteers to tell you what they know about the term. A Mission Statement is the way a business or organization defines its goals and purpose in a simple and ease-to-remember sentence or phrase. It has one common function: to guide the employees of a business or organization in making critical decisions that effect the business or organization. (Teacher Note: You may want to briefly share and discuss your school’s Mission Statement.)

  6. Share with the learners that Mission Statements often include two or three sentences, words, or phrases that highlight civic virtues. Business and organizations often turn their Mission Statements into short phrases or mottos. See if they can identify the business or organization by their motto and have them suggest others with which they are familiar.

    • “To make people happy” (Disney)
    • “To push the leading edge of aviation, taking huge challenges doing what others cannot do” (Boeing)
    • “To assure you that you are in good hands” (All State Insurance)
    • “To solve unsolved problems, innovatively” (3M)
    • “To be all you can be” (US Army)
    • “When you care enough to send the very best” (Hallmark Cards)
  7. Distribute Handout One: Sample Mission Statements from non-profit organizations. Others can be obtained at

  8. If time permits have the students come up with possible mottos for these Sample Mission Statements similar to those mottos from for profit businesses shared earlier.

  9. Just as businesses and organizations have Mission Statements, individuals may also have a personal Mission Statement or Beliefs (may not be in writing) that guides them in making critical decisions that effect them and others around them.

  10. Give the learners a example of a personal Mission Statement:

  11. “As a responsible member of my community, it is my mission to utilize my leadership and management skills to facilitate the success of others. I will motivate them by setting an example that reflects positively on those I serve - my family, my peers, and myself.”

  12. Have the learners create their own personal Mission Statement reflecting their beliefs and attitudes toward being a responsible citizen. Review the guidelines found in Handout Two: Personal Giving Mission Statement Rubric.

  13. Share with the students that they will soon be involved in an activity designed to “build” or “repair” a situation in their community and that this activity will require them to be a responsible citizen by using one of the tools of a philanthropist, namely the “tool” of treasure.

  14. Guide the students in selecting and planning a project to meet a community need. They may collect items or money, such as through a penny drive.

  15. Hold the service project. Have students monitor the progress and reflect on the goals and impact of their work, adjusting the project as they go to improve its effectiveness.

  16. When the project is complete, provide an opportunity for the students to demonstrate what they learned and the impact they made. It is most effective if the demonstration is for an outside audience, such as through a presentation, social media, press release, or performance.


The learners involvement in the group discussions and their Mission Statements, assessed in accordance with the Personal Giving Mission Statement Rubric (Handout Two), will form the basis of assessment.

Cross Curriculum 

The class may hold a penny drive to raise money for a chosen cause. To hold the competition, each class or team competes against all others. Each team has a jar in a central location labeled with the team name and the charity they are raising money for. The idea is to earn the most money for your class or grade. In a penny war, teams try to collect the most pennies, and silver coins count against their total. This creates a competition where other teams try to sabotage the other teams by adding silver coins or dollar bills to the competitors' jars. The value of the coins count against the total, so a quarter subtracts 25 points from a jar of pennies. You can have two winners: one winner is the team that has the most points and another winner collects the highest monetary value.

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. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify how subgroups and families in society demonstrate giving, volunteering, and civic involvement.
  2. 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.