ABCs of Philanthropy: Action Game (Teen)

6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Youth Activity: Participants identify and begin to integrate the meaning of the word philanthropy and associated philanthropic acts. This activity assumes that the young people have had prior discussions about philanthropy. See the handout for supplemental faith-based discussion questions.

“If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers” ~ Whoopi Goldberg

Print25 minutes

The youth will:

  • identify philanthropic actions.
  • demonstrate a philanthropic act
  • learn the definition of “philanthropist.”
  • personally identify as a philanthropist.
  • become motivated to share time, talent and/or treasure for the common good.
  • strips of paper for each group to write their philanthropic actions on
  • markers
  • tape
Home Connection 

Suggest that the group take philanthropic actions that represent every letter of the alphabet throughout the week, record what they did and the response from the people that they touched by that action. Bring this information to next meeting.

  1. What did you learn about philanthropy from our game? 
  2. How would our community become a better place by the actions you have written and placed on the wall? Why are these actions helpful to others? 
  3. Tell us about philanthropic actions you have done and why you did them. How were those actions important to community? 
  4. What could this group do to encourage others to take philanthropic actions? 


  1. Tell the participants that they will have some fun learning about philanthropy. They are going to play a game that will help them learn about philanthropic actions.

  2. Before the game begins, mark the floor with tape to indicate advancement points, as in a life-size gameboard. There should be at least ten or twelve advancement points appropriately placed for the age group.

  3. Have participants move into groups of about 5-6 people. Explain that this activity will ask them to brainstorm creatively about different actions of philanthropy. 

  4. Explain that each group is a team, and each team will have strips of paper and a marker. The facilitator calls out a random letter of the alphabet. The group works together to come up with a philanthropic action that begins with that letter and write that action on the paper. If groups are unable to brainstorm actions, get them started by giving examples from the actions listed in the handout.

  5. The first team to write down an action and hold up their strip of paper advances two spaces. In the event of a tie, each team will move one space. Repeat with other alphabet letters. The goal is to have each group complete the game, expand their ideas of what philanthropy looks like, and celebrate the group victory. 

  6. Groups that complete the course first are encouraged to be cheerleaders for the others. The actions they write may be posted on the wall under the corresponding letters of the alphabet.

  7. Variation: Once the game is completed, collect the papers from the wall and use those philanthropic actions to play charades with the group.