PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify actions of philanthropic people.
  • give an example of his or her own philanthropy.
  • complete a star with ideas for personal philanthropy.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Show students a variety of tools used by workers in for-profit and nonprofit organizations (i.e. wrench, book, violin, stethoscope, baseball, potted plant, broom, phone) and challenge them to name the for-profit and not-for-profit careers associated with the objects.

  2. Explain to students that there are organizations that are nonprofit and philanthropic. Ask students if they can name two or three examples, e.g., Big Brothers/Big Sisters, American Red Cross, United Way, Hospice, museums, hospitals. Help students with examples if needed. Have a list of the nonprofit organizations in your area from www.guidestar.org (Advanced search by city and state) to refer to.  While the focus of this lesson is on nonprofits, be sure to mention that corporations often do some philanthropic work in the communities they serve.

  3. Define common good (to work together for the greater benefit of all). Do the organizations named work for the common good?

  4. Play Say You, Say Me (lyrics are at https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/lionelrichie/sayyousayme.html) or read it as a poem. Discuss how the words talk about the individual worth of people and the need to be in community.

  5. Without individuals who possess philanthropic character traits (they demonstrate some of the character traits talked about in the previous lesson), these organizations would not exist. Just as each star in the sky makes up the universe, each student is a shining star and can make a positive difference through contributing to the common good.

  6. Have them each make a five-pointed star and decorate it with ways they can be philanthropic, and representing the character traits they possess or would like to develop. They may use words, drawings, symbols or pictures from magazines.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.