Philanthropic Race with Time

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

Youth Activity: This energizer is 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

  • have fun.
  • gain understanding of the concepts of philanthropy.
  • build philanthropy vocabulary.

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 go-round, the facilitator says that when the object arrives to them this time, they must spell the word “philanthropy” in the time allotted and pass the object on to the next person. 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: ALL in the time allotted.
  5. Variation
    Participants say a word related to  philanthropy, like service, and how it relates to them. Examples:

    1. Say the word, service.
    2. Say what service they have done in the past.


    1. Say the word, talent.
    2. Say how they use their talent for the common good.