3, 4, 5

Participants gain awareness about the work of local nonprofit organizations through research and by interviewing representatives. They summarize the mission, needs, and impact of the organizations on the community.

PrintOne 45-minute Session, plus time to research and interview
  • Identify philanthropic organizations in the community.
  • Gather information from websites and interviews.
  • chart paper and sticky notes
  • Internet access


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Write the following issue areas on charts hung around the room: harm to the environment, poverty, hunger, illness/disease, injustice, lack of access to arts, unaffordable care for young and old, illiteracy, lonliness. 

    On lots of sticky notes, participants write nonprofit organizations, volunteer actions, and ways that people can take action for these issues. They stick them on the charts. The facilitator may guide them to name nonprofits that do each type of work locally. 

  2. Guide discussions to determine what issues interest different people in the group. Some may be interested in health and others injustice. Through discussion and research, facilitate each person or groups to pick an issue area and local nonprofit to learn more about. 

  3. The participants can look up the nonprofit on their website to learn more about the issue, what the nonprofit does, and what philanthropists/volunteers can do to help.  They may also call the nonprofit directly to ask questions of a program officer.

  4. Sample questions:

    • What is the purpose of your organization?
    • What need/s does your organization fulfill in our community?
    • Do you offer time, talent and/or treasure to the community?
    • What can I do to help your organization accomplish its goals?
    • Does any help come from non-paid volunteers, if so what?
  5. They each write a paragraph about the work of the nonprofit they researched and what young people can do to support the nonprofit with one of the four types of service.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Give examples of needs met by government, business, civil society, and family.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    3. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark E.2 Name an example of a civil society charitable organization.
    4. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name examples of civil society organizations in the community.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify and describe how civil society organizations help the community.