Section 2
The History of PHILANTHROPY
Circle of Truth - An Energizer Activity
Time
20-25 minute depending on size of group
Materials
  • Facilitator Handout: Questions for Participants
Physical Setting
Large room where participants can sit on the floor in a circle or there is a circle of chairs
Sequence
  • Best used as an opening or closing activity for a session

This activity introduces participants to the idea that a community incorporates diverse groups of people. This helps to educate youth in serving a community and/or organization as a philanthropist.

Objectives

  • To enhance team building
  • To understand more about the diversity of individuals and groups within a community

Activity

The facilitator will explain how we often pre-judge others before we really know them. When we don’t know the people in our community or school very well, it is easy to make false assumptions. This activity will help us to better understand and appreciate the diversity of others.

The activity begins with the participants sitting in a circle, facing inward. The facilitator will pose a question to the entire group. Each participant will answer as honestly as possible, with only a one or two word response.The facilitator reminds participants that they always have the right to pass if the activity becomes  uncomfortable.

Using the Facilitator Handout, the facilitator asks a series of questions with the questions gradually becoming more personal.

Note to Facilitator: It is a good idea to vary the intensity level of the questions (i.e. after an extremely personal question, ask a lighter, less intense question). Be sure to end the activity with a light, upbeat question.

Reflection/Discussion

After the questions have been asked, the facilitator helps the participants make the transition from an individual perspective to that of a community focus.

  1. How does this activity relate to the way we feel toward our community and/or organization or school?
  2. What groups or individuals are we familiar with (neighborhood, groups, church members, and peers in school)?  What groups would we like to know more about?
  3. Is there a place in our community, organization or school where people from different schools, neighborhoods, and backgrounds come together?
  4. How might we find ways to introduce ourselves to others and begin to know them better?
  5. Have you had an experience where you participated with others and your opinions of those individuals or groups changed? These can be positive or negative experiences.
  6. Why is it important to know others better as your begin your philanthropic actions in an organization, school or community?

This might be a good time for the facilitator to talk  about empathy and compassion. As the participants get to know more about the community and/or organization, they will be able to see more ways to impact the common good and become more thoughtful and intentional about what they do. This ties the activity closer to the definition of philanthropy.