Philanthropy 101 Course of The Westminster Schools
Who Am I in relationship to my community? How can I make a difference for a cause or issue about which I care? How can I make an informed gift? Why is philanthropy important to individuals and to a healthy community and society? What types of organizations exist in the nonprofit sector? What is effective philanthropy?
Philanthropy 101 is a not-for-credit, month-long summer course that introduces rising high school seniors to effective giving and informed critical thinking about community service through readings, research, site visits, and meetings with local leaders. It connects students to their local community and, through community-based experiences, helps them become more aware of society’s growing needs and their own interests. In addition to coming to understand the meaning of the word “philanthropy,” the class strives to help students answer the following questions: Who am I in relationship to my community? In what ways can I give? How can I make a difference for a cause or issue about which I care? The course may be adapted to a semester format and to focus on a school's local community. Watch the video, "Philanthropy 101: Making Donor Education a Habit of the Heart" to learn about the course through the words of its teachers, students and alumni. Before teaching the course, take this educator mini-course that prepares the educator for teaching and leading Philanthropy 101: Teaching Philanthropy 101: A High School Course
To introduce students to the concept of philanthropy and have them begin thinking about how they can be intentional about their giving of money and time. Students explore issues and identify an issue about which they are passionate; they get to know different types of nonprofit organizations; and they learn to determine the effectiveness of a nonprofit before they donate money or time to an organization that matches their interest.
To introduce students to the differences between businesses and nonprofit organizations and key terms used in each sector.
To help students understand the legal aspects of a 501(c)(3) organization and how they differ from other organizations.
To create student awareness about philanthropy in daily life throughout the world using a variety of topics and sources.
To identify the intersection between students’ passions, community needs and the effectiveness of organizations selected.
To introduce students to Andrew Carnegie as one of the outstanding early philanthropists of the United States.
To introduce students to a significant community donor and to learn about various motives for giving, a vision for philanthropy, and why and how young people should learn philanthropy.
To continue the study of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s influence on American culture.
To introduce students to volunteering through a local nonprofit or the service program at their school so that they understand the importance of giving their time to make a difference in the greater community.
To introduce students to grantmaking and the work of community foundations.
To understand the workings of a large foundation that distributes major capital gifts and programmatic gifts like scholarships for higher education.
To introduce students to examples of the major types of nonprofit organization: arts, education, environment, health, religion, and social services. Each site is representative of a nonprofit category and the visit is to give students an example of opportunities for giving.
To learn how to conduct research and dedicate time to learning about nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, assessment of nonprofit effectiveness, social causes and issues, and related topics. Research time is scheduled periodically.
To give students time to reflect on the course of study each week and to encourage them to begin thinking of how to best make a monetary donation to an effective organization.
To discuss the wisdom of giving and receiving gifts. What makes a gift or giver wise or foolish? How should you decide what you should give?
To help students understand that not all organizations spend their philanthropic dollars wisely and to teach them effective ways to assess the different approaches.
To expose students to the history and philosophy of generosity in order to better understand why and how we should be generous.
Purpose: To share with students how a successful local nonprofit was formed and how laws have been changed as a result of its advocacy work. In the case of Road Safe America, the nonprofit's advocacy work affected laws dealing with the trucking industry.
Note: This specific lesson deals with a tragedy associated with an alumnus of the school where the Philanthropy 101 course was developed, and so it is included in this set of lessons. We encourage other schools to identify a nonprofit founded in their community as the result of a local need, event or tragedy.
To introduce students to the harsh realities of modern-day slavery.
To help students understand the language of private foundations, their unique terms, and specific definitions. Furthermore, to help students learn the specific rules and regulations governing private foundations that help foundations stay in compliance with IRS regulations. Finally, to help students communicate more effectively within the philanthropic community.
To continue the study of philanthropist John D. Rockefeller’s influence on American culture.
To help students assess the effectiveness of charitable organizations and decide on their own financial contributions.
To introduce students to organizations that focus on international and global problems, rather than local or national concerns.
Note: This specific lesson involves CARE, an international organization located in Atlanta where the Philanthropy 101 course was developed. We encourage other schools to identify an international nonprofit located in their community.
To introduce students to a variety of specific nonprofits and their representatives who address topics such as the organization's mission, financial support, and work.
To introduce students to the grantmaking process (through a Harvard Business School case study) using all of the concepts learned in class this semester.
Enable students to methodically assess their choice of philanthropic giving and decide where to make a $500 donation.
To acquaint students with the vocabulary and basic tools of accounting principles necessary for all nonprofits.
To explore many differing views on well-intended philanthropy with students. Review some of the dangers of philanthropy such as inappropriate intervention, inappropriate verbiage, and naiveté.
To emphasize the importance of fundraising for capital campaigns and annual appeals and to discuss the importance of personally supporting organizations which are important to individuals and their family. Convey the message that the students are all recipients of someone else’s philanthropic giving to the private, nonprofit school they attend. If a public school adopts Philanthropy 101, teachers might consider adjusting this lesson to introduce students to their school district's education foundation or to a local private school.
To create multi-media iBooks with PSAs (public service announcements) that explore and raise awareness about (local or global) issues (such as homelessness, water pollution, education, or hunger) that can be addressed by philanthropy.
To introduce students to a definition of social entrepreneurship and examples of social entrepreneurs in America.
To learn about challenges that nonprofits face when fundraising for their organization and spending money on programs.
An annual speaker introduces students to those in the greater community who are recognized for their philanthropic contributions to society.