What Can We Do for the Common Good?

3, 4, 5

The group reviews the list of issues and ways to take action, including those gathered with their families. They narrow the list through consensus. They invite a local Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee member to talk about their work and grant process.

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Session
  • Brainstorm ideas for service to address an issue they care about
  • Narrow the options and determine the steps necessary to complete the project


  1. Anticipatory Set: 

    Discuss and brainstorm ideas for service action. They started a list of issues and ways to serve in the previous meeting and got more ideas from families. Generate enthusiasm and empowerment for their role and ability to make a difference.

  2. Divide into groups of four to select the 3 or 4 ideas they like the best. Use a decision-making model to start to narrow the list as they discuss 1) what they care about, 2) where they see a need, and 3) what seems do-able. 

    Come back to a full group and share their top choices. 

  3. After further discussion about the feasibility of each of the projects, vote or come to consensus on two or three projects to pursue. Write each one on a separate chart.

    • Brainstorm on the charts possible steps necessary to complete each of the projects. It may be helpful to have a grant proposal form from a Youth Advisory Committee to give an idea of what needs to be included in a plan and budget.
    • Compare the charts and make a final decision about what service action to take.
    • If they need to collect more information before making a decision, youth may take responsibilities to learn more and bring answers back to the group by the next session. 
  4. If funds are needed to complete their project idea, let them know that there is a local community foundation that provides funds to help people with philanthropic projects.

    Call the local Community Foundation and get contact information for a representative from the Youth Advisory Committee. Have a youth invite a YAC youth to the next session to present information about the youth advisory committee and its purpose. This may be virtual or in person.

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 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe how a volunteer youth club in the community operates.