Empowering the Next Generation of Philanthropists

November 28, 2016 Katelyn Herrygers

Learning to Give is all about educating and empowering the next generation of givers and engaged citizens. How? Through Philanthropy Education!

On Giving Tuesday, hundreds of teachers across the country are making a pledge to TeachOne Learning to Give lesson in their classrooms. Teachers select from 1700 lesson plans, each with the unifying purpose of bringing students' attention back to gratitude and giving.

For Learning to Give, philanthropy is defined as the giving of time, talent, or treasure for the common good. All children--and adults--have something to give, and anyone can be a philanthropist! Here is a taste of how teachers across the country help students recognize what they can do.

After using Learning to Give’s "Blue Sky" envisioning activity, a group of high school students in Atlanta decided on a powerful project to make a difference in their community.

"Last year a group of high school seniors decided they wanted to help homeless youth," said Cindy S., United Brothers and Sisters of America. "As a part of their service-learning project they held a sock drive at their school to donate to the Covenant House (a shelter for youth ages 18-21). Students were very surprised to learn the reasons why youth are homeless. They were even more surprised about how their sock drive would benefit youth that lived at the Covenant House."

In response to the lesson and activity outlined above, a student participant, Demarquavous D. said, "I will never forget this experience."

Peer reviewed and independently evaluated, Learning to Give lessons are based on a deeply researched philanthropy framework that is infused into the academic content educators are already teaching.

Learning to Give:

1. Educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge)

2. Equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills)

3. Empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior)

Mandy A., a teacher at Study Elementary said, "Through the philanthropy lessons, the students feel that they have a voice and the power to make a difference." Here's what a few of Mandy's students had to say about their philanthropy lessons and takeaways:

You can share (your) treasure with each other and talents,” said Jimena.

“Instead of being mean you can be nice," said Noelia. "Pass it on to other people so when they grow up they can be nice to their kids.”

Davion said, ”You can do good things and not get any money for it.”

Funded by foundations and donors, Learning to Give resources and lessons are FREE and easy for teachers and educators to access and employ in classrooms around the world.

If you believe in philanthropy education and empowering the next generation of givers with the knowledge and insight of the power of giving, consider donating to Learning to Give on #GivingTuesday.

Plus, it is never too late for teachers to get involved! Classrooms may teach a Learning to Give lesson any day of the year, and they can participate with our collaborative TeachOne initiatives in 2017 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Earth Day, and Giving Tuesday.

Details at learningtogive.org

About the Author

Katelyn  Herrygers

Katelyn Herrygers is the Content and Community Manager at Learning to Give with a heart for purpose-driven work. She first learned about the impact of philanthropy and community involvement during a summer internship at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation during her undergraduate studies at Aquinas College. This experience solidified her desire to do meaningful work that positively impacts the community through service, education, and giving. After earning a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University in 2014, she decided to stay in West Michigan rather than pursue a PhD at an out-of-state program. Over the course of the last half-decade, Katelyn has gained valuable experience in marketing, digital advertising, event planning, project management, communication, and social media. Katelyn is excited, and thankful, to be a part of the Learning to Give mission.

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