What Do You Propose?--Step Three: Solution Research

6, 7, 8

Students determine which community need should have greatest priority. Once a priority need has been determined, students research organizations that address that community need. The research process will use a student-generated list of questions.


PrintTwo 45-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • name a local communitynonprofit and research its goals and attributes.
  • identify a need in the school, neighborhood or local community.
  • research the need in the school, neighborhood or local community.
  • evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.
  • nonprofit organization: (n) a term describing the Internal Revenue Service's designation of an organization whose income is not used for the benefit or private gain of stockholders, directors, or any other persons with an interest in the company; separate tax treatment exists based on whether it is charitable or not. 
  • foundation: (n) an organization created from designated funds from which the income is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations or, in some cases, to people
  • needs assessment: (n) the study of an organization's program or situation to determine what activity or activities should be initiated or expanded to satisfy a need
  • decision-making model: (n) the process for concluding which decisions need to be made and how to find alternatives for each decision.
  • inquiry: (n) a close examination of a matter in a search for information or truth.
  • grant: (v) a financial donation given to support a person, organization, project or program. Most grants are awarded to not-for-profit organizations.

You Tube. Ashley Slayton--Power of Children winner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ig5xkTYSQ&feature=fvst

Charity Checks. http://charity-checks.com

Guidestar. http://www.guidestar.org


  1. Anticipatory Set:

  2. Begin the lesson by showing a You Tube video about one youth who made a difference in the lives of people with cancer. (You can google "Power Of Children Awards" or use the link provided) <a data-cke-saved-href="\" href="\&quot;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ig5xkTYSQ&feature=fvst" \"="">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ig5xkTYSQ&feature=fvst

  3. If they haven't already selected their issue area, ask the students to select their priority from the lists generated in the previous lessons. In this lesson, they research organizations related to their chosenissue area. If they need assistance in exploring community needs to make the choice, see Lesson One, Handout One: A Dozen Types of Community Needs.

  4. Work together to generate questions that will serve as guidelines for researching the organizations. See Handout One: What Do I Need to Know? Sample questions: Is this organization charitable or philanthropic in philosophy? What are its goals? How long has it been in existence? What percentage of their funds are spent on the cause?

  5. Students conduct the research on their chosen organizations. For example, one group researches United Way, each student taking two or three questions. See www.guidestar.org and go to "Donor Resources" for information about organizations.

  6. If the students have secured funds through a grant or fundraiser, discuss questions they should consider in deciding how to spendthe funds. Brainstorm questions.

  7. Teacher Note: A local community foundation or youth advisory committee may be the source of a grant. See http://charity-checks.com for one way to raise money.

  8. Note: You may want to offer a workshop on researching techniques by phone and/or email.

  9. At the end of the first day or beginning of the second day, have students give a summary report of where they are with their research and plans to work with a community partner.

  10. On Day Two of this lesson, students continue their research and/or start planning how they will work with a community partner to address the community need they identified for their project proposal.


Assessing will take place through teacher evaluation of student work during the research process. Have students check in with the teacher and show progress before leaving foreach day.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 05. Role of Foundations
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Name a local community foundation and describe its broad purpose.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.