Section 1
What in the World is Philanthropy?
The Language of Philanthropy
45 minutes
Flipchart, markers, index cards, sheets of paper
Physical Setting
Area that will accommodate large group and small group activities
  • 5 minutes for an introduction to this activity
  • 10 minutes to talk, introduce the words
  • 10 minutes to look up the words
  • 10 minutes for small groups to rewrite the definition
  • 10 minutes to place the words on flip chart paper

Participants will begin to understand the language of philanthropy and be introduced to the words that appear throughout the activities.


  • To introduce philanthropic words and meanings to the participants
  • To ask participants what they think about “philanthropy”


The facilitator asks the participants to form small groups of 3 or 4.  One index card per group is passed out with one of the following words printed on it (one word per card – not the meaning).

  • Philanthropy
  • Common Good
  • Philanthropist
  • Volunteer
  • Nonprofit Organization  
  • Grant

The small groups are asked to look at the index card and come up with a meaning for the word.  Each group has a recorder to write down the meaning on a separate sheet of paper.  Index cards are exchanged among the groups so all of the groups have an opportunity to see all the words.  Each group is asked to report out to the larger group on their meanings for the words.

The facilitator then asks the groups to look up the definitions of the words either online or from a dictionary.  The recorder in each group will note the actual definition on a sheet of paper. The facilitator brings everyone back to the large group and asks them to share the actual definitions with everyone. Facilitator explains that the group now has a beginning “glossary” of the philanthropic language they will be learning more about in the coming sessions.