Designing Your Philanthropy Collage

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Youth Activity: Participants will create a collage depicting philanthropic traits and actions. This collage will serve as a visual definition of philanthropy. See the handout for supplemental faith-based discussion questions.

“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” ~Gloria Steinem


Lesson Rating 
Print45 minutes

The youth will: 

  • recognize philanthropic traits and actions. 
  • expand their understanding of philanthropic traits and actions. 
  • relate philanthropic characteristics to their own lives.
  • Posterboard, construction paper or file folders 
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Crayons, markers and pens
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Self-Stick Notes 
  • Room large enough for participants to be able to spread out to work 
Home Connection 

Participants take home their philanthropy collages to share with their family members.

  • What did you learn about philanthropy?
  • Which of the actions or traits on the collage represent you – who you are or actions you have taken?
  • What are some of the words and pictures that appear more often in the collages?
  • Ask members to identify someone they know who is a philanthropist. Ask each member to share one trait that describes the person they know and to share what that person does that makes them a philanthropist. 


  1. Explain to the group that an important part of understanding philanthropy is recognizing philanthropic traits/characteristics and activities of others. Participants will explore what philanthropy means, and then have the opportunity to create a “philanthropy collage” with pictures and words representing philanthropy. Remind the group that a collage is a piece of art, made up of many pictures, words or drawings, that represent an idea. 

  2. Draw a large T-graph on the chart paper. Label one side “Philanthropic Traits” and the other side “Philanthropic Actions.” Divide the group into two teams and pass out self-stick notes to each team. Ask one team to write or draw a picture of “philanthropic traits” or words they would use to describe a person who shares and cares in their community, one trait per self-stick note. Invite the second team to write or draw a picture of “philanthropic actions” or things that a person who cares and shares might do, one action per self-stick note. Tell the teams they will have five minutes to come up with their traits and actions. If participants are having a difficult time beginning to identify words, assist them in getting started by suggesting words from “Characterizing Philanthropic People” (handout). At the end of five minutes, ask the groups to stop.

  3. Starting with the “Philanthropic Traits” group, ask for one word or picture (one self-stick note) to be brought up and stuck on the T-graph. Each member of the team is to take a turn bringing up a trait. When they bring up the trait, ask that member to explain what that word has to do with philanthropy or caring, sharing and taking action in the community. Give the same instructions to the “Philanthropic Action” group. Now take turns between the teams letting the members bring up the note and sticking them on the board. 

  4. After participants have placed all their words on the board, explain that we will keep the board out for all to use as a reference throughout the rest of the activity. 

  5. The facilitator explains that they will be using the list as a starting point to make a philanthropic collage. Each participant collects one piece of construction paper or poster-board, along with a few newspapers and magazines, scissors, tape or glue, and crayons. Instruct participants to create a “philanthropy collage” or picture so someone looking at the collage would better understand philanthropy. The collage will be a “visual definition” of philanthropy. Encourage members to use their creativity in making a collage that shows philanthropic action in their community or around the world. They may add words (philanthropic traits) and/or pictures to the philanthropy collage.

  6. Ask for volunteers to share their collages, explaining to the group some of the actions and traits that they included in their philanthropic picture.

  7. Variations

    1. When members of the two teams have written the traits on their self-stick notes, each participant should pick one trait that describes them and stick it on their shirt to let people know that they have “philanthropic traits.” 
    2. Philanthropy collages may be created in groups rather than by individuals.