How Can I Help You?

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will describe the work of nonprofits and research their role in the local community. They will research which local nonprofits welcome the work of volunteers and provide a data base for other students who are looking for community service opportunities.

Lesson Rating 
PrintThree Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • define characteristics of not-for-profit organizations.
  • research the work of local not-for-profit organizations.
  • reflect on a career and the role of young persons in philanthropy.
  • Telephone access or a computer with Internet access
  • Learner copies of Not For Profit Organization Data Page (Handout One)
  • Name Plate and Presentation Reflection Page (Handout Two)
  • Transportation to and from local not for profit organizations (optional)


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the learners to close their eyes and imagine that they are entering the office of the CEO of a very important business in the state. Have them run their eyes over the official's desk, taking in the style and construction of the desk, its material and the articles that are on the top of the desk. Have them notice the name plate on the official's desk, if there is one. Based on what they see, have them think of one or two words that might describe how the official sees him/herself or how others see him/her based on this image. Share the responses.

  2. Let the learners convey to others who they are (their personality and character traits) using the name plates they designed in Lesson Two: Who Will I Be Tomorrow? Included in the presentation will be their description of their future life style, dreams and goals, their personality description and philosophical point of view.

  3. To introduce students to the concept of volunteering, review characteristics of not-for-profit organizations as noted in Lesson One: Who Am I Today? and Lesson Two: Who Will I Be Tomorrow? Lead a brainstorming discussion on methods of investigating not-for-profit organizations that use volunteers.

  4. Assign students to work in small groups. Distribute Not For Profit Organization Data Page (Handout One) and have each group choose a non profit organization to research via the Internet, telephone and/or personal visit. They should complete the Data Page for their organization they are researching.

  5. To further understand the process of volunteering, ask students to share their newly acquired volunteer knowledge with other students in a think-pair-share activity. Collect the data pages, assemble them into a booklet and present it to the media center as a resource for the entire student body to use.

  6. Have the learners complete the Name Plate and Presentation Reflection Page (Handout Two) and present the information informally to the class.


Student learning will be assessed through completion of Not For Profit Organization Data Page (Handout One ) and Name Plate and Presentation Reflection Page (Handout Two) .

Cross Curriculum 

The learners will create a data base of philanthropy opportunities serving with non profit organizations in the community and share this information with other students.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 02. Careers In The Nonprofit Sector
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Explore requirements and motivations for a career in the civil society sector.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.