My Civic Timeline

3, 4, 5

Create a past, present, and future timeline of personal philanthropy. 

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

Identify past philanthropic acts, determine current civic responsibility, and plan future philanthropic actions.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Review some of the acts of philanthropy in the History of US Philanthropy Timeline and discuss the motivations and impacts of the historical actions. 

  2. Show the video that describes different ways we can be philanthropic.

  3. Ask what philanthropy the participants have done in the past. It may help to have this discussion in pairs or small groups. 

  4. On the timeline handout, each person writes examples of ways they have volunteered, acted, or advocated for the good of another or the common good in the Past part of the timeline.

  5. Next, they talk about what issue and action they are interested in now. They may share ideas of where or how they might volunteer at the present time. Each writes this down in the Present part of the timeline.

    The Future part of the timeline is for their future intentions. They can tell what they hope to achieve with philanthropy as adults or for lifelong visions of a better community or world. 

  6. optional: This timeline may be created in the form of a PowerPoint presentation or video.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.11 Describe the difference between volunteer and paid labor.