Philanthropic Race with Time

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

This energizer activity provides a fast and fun way to learn about philanthropy.

"My friends are much more likely to get involved if word gets out that what we are doing is fun. We need to get that message out. We need to be the messengers." 

- Youth participant at a Habits of the Heart conference

Lesson Rating 
Print20 minutes

Youth will

  • gain understanding of the concepts of philanthropy.
  • build philanthropy vocabulary.
  • have fun!
  • ball or other item to pass
  • timer or timed toy


  1. The facilitator asks the participants to get in a large circle to play a game. The facilitator explains that a timed object will be passed around the circle. If the object comes to you, you are to catch it and say the word “philanthropy” before the timer goes off. If you beat the time, you are to throw it quickly to another person, who repeats the word, and throws the object. Each time the timer rings before the person has gotten rid of it, they are eliminated from the circle.

  2. After a few rounds have been completed, the facilitator says that they will still throw the object, but instead of saying “philanthropy,” the person who has the object must say what the word means to them. Rules remain the same and participants are eliminated in the same manner.

  3. In the third round, the facilitator notes that when the object arrives this time, each person must spell the word “philanthropy” in the time allotted and pass the object on to the next person. The game ends when only one participant remains.

  4. If there is a “stand off,” ask the participants to do all three in the time allotted:

    1. Say the word
    2. Say what the word means to them
    3. Spell the word philanthropy 
  5. Variation
    Participants say a word related to  philanthropy, like service, and how it relates to them. Examples:

    1. Say the word "service"
    2. Share a service experience.


    1. Say the word "talent"
    2. Share how you use your talent for the common good.