Decision-Making Model

K, 1, 2

The group uses a decision-making model to decide where to donate their collected money. They evaluate what is most important to them and list possible choices. Based on the decision-making process, the group comes to consensus on how to spend money earned together.

PrintOne Thirty-Minute Session

The learners will:

  • use a decision-making process.
  • Decision-Making Model Grid (see handout below)

“Decision-Making Model Grid” from Master Curriculum Guide. Teaching Strategies, 3-4. National Council on Economic Education.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Referring to the collection jar started in lesson one, discuss how the decision they make about where to donate the money will affect them and the people who receive the gift. Consider why acting philanthropically is good for the community. (There are many communities involved, including the classroom, families, and local community.)

  2. Since there are many choices and many ideas about what is best, we are going to use one fair way to make decisions, called a decision-making model. The model has four steps: select possible choices (where to donate), determine what is important, evaluate, and make a decision. Project the decision-making grid for all to see (see handout below).

  3. In the left column, write the ideas for where the money can be donated or what it can be used for. This could include nonprofits or specific people or donation items. You can have more than five options.

    Note: it is okay to include suggestions such as buying a gerbil for a class pet. These choices can go through the process, but will be rated low if the choice doesn't benefit others.

  4. Along the top in row one, write things that make a choice attractive. For example, they want their gift to address a need, be a good use of limited money, and make a difference. These criteria help the group decide how to use limited resources to the best advantage. Note: You can change the criteria already written in the handout. 

  5. Now it is time to rate the choices by discussing the criteria. You may have children raise their hands as a way to determine the criteria number.

    As an example, let's say the group says the first choice in column one is to give to a local soup kitchen. Ask each of the criteria questions (1-4 across the top row) and count the number of children who respond yes. Write these numbers in the appropriate boxes under the criteria and to the right of "local soup kitchen."

  6. After each criteria is collected, review the numbers and evaluate the number of positive responses for each question and choice. Compare and discuss the results and make a decision together. The decision should be based on the highest number of positive responses and critical discussion.

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. Benchmark E.2 Define philanthropy and charity.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> in philanthropic giving.
      2. Benchmark E.8 Recognize the difference between private property and common resources.
    3. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark E.1 Name examples of civil society organizations in the community.
    4. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.