Celebrate National Philanthropy Day!

October 31, 2023

It's a busy time of year that leaves most of us wondering how we'll get all of our to-dos checked off of our lists before the year ends. Between holiday breaks and the holidays, it can be easy for any of us to get swept up in thinking about what I need versus what I can do to help others. And its not just adults that get swept up in the frenzy of the last couple of months of the year. Kids of all ages are eager to be out of school and enjoy the holidays with their loved ones (and might be just a tad excited to see what kinds of gifts they'll get this year!). 

It can be easy for all of us to get caught up the hustle of the end of the year and stay focused on what we want during our break. But what if we used these last 60 days of the year to think about helping others? November 15th is National Philanthropy Day and is an awesome opportunity for you to help your students see the value and importance of giving back. 

What is National Philanthropy Day?

First proclaimed in 1986, National Philanthropy Day focuses on our collective commitment to create positive, transformational change in our communities and world by using our time, talent and treasure. No act of giving or service is too small or goes unnoticed. National Philanthropy Day is a reminder that we are all philanthropists and that we all have the ability, and responsibility, to give and make our world better and brighter.

Why should I celebrate National Philanthropy Day in my class or school?

What's neat about philanthropy is that anyone can do it - everyone has the ability to give something to improve or change the lives of others. And it's not a have-to activity; philanthropy is a GET TO activity. We get to help others, we get to serve others and we get to make an impact on our communities. Being a philanthropist really is a privilege that we all have the ability to experience.

National Philanthropy Day is a reminder to all of us of that privilege and gives us the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and why it is important. At some point in our lives, we will all need someone to help us. National Philanthropy Day helps us remember on what we are capable of doing as individuals and groups to give as well as give gratitude to others who have helped lift us up when we needed it.

How can I celebrate National Philanthropy Day with my students?

Celebrating National Philanthropy Day is simple and, best of all, we have resources to help you bring philanthropy to life not only on National Philanthropy Day, but every day of the year! 

Below are fast and easy ways to start the conversation about giving with your students at the beginning of the November as well as prompts you can use throughout the month to keep the conversation and inspiration going.

Week 1: What is philanthropy?

Jump right into the conversation by helping your students understand what this giant word means. Whether they're in 2nd grade or 11th grade, help your students build their vocabulary by dissecting what the word "philanthropy" means, what other words we use to describe philanthropy are and how they can integrate it into their every day vocabulary.

Check out our "What is Philanthropy?" video as well as our Vocabulary Game.


Week 2: How can I use my 3Ts to give back?

Now that your students understand the word "philanthropy", help them put it into action! Use our 3Ts activity cards for younger kiddos to help them better understand how they can use their time, talent and treasure to give. For older grades, use our 3Ts handout to dive into a conversation about the 3Ts. Ask students to identify needs they see in their communities and how their 3Ts can help. 


Week 3: Celebrate the Day by Creating a Plan

This is where you and your students get to put some actions behind your learning! Now that they understand what philanthropy is and that they have 3Ts they can use to make a difference, how can they work together to create a small project to help those in need? Is it a food or coat drive? Maybe it is a simple as writing letters to those who need to smile. Whatever it is, no act of service is too small!

Check out our Colorful Kindness cards for elementary students and our Blessing Bags activity for middle/high school students for easy activities to get started!

Week 4: Bring Your Plan to Life

This is where the real fun happens - and it is perfect timing before the holidays! Have your students execute their project and then collect their gifts to be given to a local nonprofit the following week. 


Week 5: Reflect and Celebrate

Everyone is back from break and eager to get their projects into the hands of those who need them! You could invite someone from a local nonprofit to come and pick up your students' projects, giving them a chance to hear directly how their gifts will make an impact. Or you could plan to deliver them. Either way, make sure your class reflects on the impact they have created and takes time to celebrate using their time, talent and treasure to give back in their unique way!

Teaching Philanthropy Matters

National Philanthropy Day is a simple way to get your students engaged in the conversation of giving back and being philanthropists in a fun way. But don't stop there - our Project Heart resources are full of easy to integrate content that helps continue to inspire and challenge your students to make the act of giving a life-long habit. And the best part? It's FREE! Register to access Project Heart today!