ABCs of Philanthropy: Action Game (Teen)

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

Youth Activity: Participants are playful with the meaning of the word philanthropy and philanthropic acts. This activity follows discussions about the many forms of 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:

  • define philanthropy and identify philanthropic actions.
  • 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 

Over a given time period, the participants take philanthropic actions that represent different letters of the alphabet and take notes on the responses from the people they interacted with. Bring this information to the 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? 
  3. What could this group do to encourage others to take philanthropic actions? 


  1. Tell the participants that they will have some fun learning about the many ways to give and serve. Define philanthropy as giving time, talent, or treasure for the good of all. The definition may include two more Ts: sharing ties (social connections) and testimony (words of support). 

  2. Before the game begins, mark the floor with tape to make 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 2-6 groups. Explain that in this game, their team brainstorms 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. You can select winners who have the most unique or most responses. Repeat with other alphabet letters. The goals are to 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.