Giving Back


1. To encourage a culture of good citizenship and charitable giving

2. To work cooperatively in researching and planning a giving activity

Subject Area

English Language Arts (K-12), Math (4-8)


Introduce money management as it pertains to charitable giving with the following discussion points:

  • What does it mean to "give back"?
  • Is it important to give back? Why or why not?
  • Is volunteering a way to give back?
  • What charity groups exist in your community?
  • Does anyone contribute individually, as a family or otherwise to a charity?
  • What is a reasonable amount of money to set aside for charity? (Emphasize that any amount is reasonable!)
  • How do you know if a charity is legitimate? Do charity scams exist?


Cash for a Cause

Length: 1 hour
Materials: Cash for a Cause Handout, brochures and pamphlets from local charities, computer for research (optional)

  • In this activity, the class will collectively research and select a charity to donate to. Students will also write personal letters to the charity indicating their reasons for donating.
  • First, have students research various charities in your community and fill out the first part of the Cash for a Cause Handout.
  • Students may want to start a Saver Sheet and make a personal donation to their selected charity, but as a class you will decide to donate to one registered/legitimate charity.
  • Once the charity is selected, have the class decide how much money to give. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of everyone giving the same set amount versus giving a percentage of each individual's income (i.e. everyone giving a set amount may be unaffordable to some, while giving a percentage will result in everyone giving different amounts).
  • Have the students choose whether they prefer to give a set amount or a percentage of their income. If the class chooses the percentage option, student donations must be placed in a sealed envelope with their name on the front to allow for privacy regarding the donated amount. At this point, the students should also write their letters to the charity indicating their reasons for donating.
  • Total the final amount and submit the donation to the charity on behalf of the class.


  • Challenge students to brainstorm the following question: "What would you give up to give?"
  • Have students come up with a list of volunteer opportunities around the community and post a list in the classroom to encourage participation.

Collaborative Feedback

  • Address answers to the question: "What would you give up to give?"
  • What were some of the challenges when considering donating to a charity? Was the class conflicted as to which charity they wanted to choose?
  • How does giving back change the way students think about materialism?

Teacher Tips

  • Organize a school-wide donation drive for toys, canned food or pet supplies.
  • Organize a class trip to volunteer at a local organization such as Siloam Mission or Winnipeg Harvest.
  • Donate a portion of the money made from the fundraising activity on page 27.

Pre- and Post-Assessment of Lesson

  • What do you know about giving to charity?
  • What did you learn about giving to charity?