CPhS - The Center for Philanthropic Studies

Research at the Center for Philanthropic Studies (CPhS) answers the question: “Who gives what, when, and why, and to what effect?” Philanthropy, defined briefly as private action for the public good, includes acts of giving (e.g., volunteering, charitable giving, organ and blood donation) to nonprofit organizations, as well as the work of fundraising charities, voluntary associations, NGOs and endowed foundations for a better world. The Center for Philanthropic Studies is the leading research institute on philanthropy in the Netherlands and Europe.

The research focus has been on macro-level descriptions and micro-level determinants of giving. In recent years, the Center has broadened its attention to also study the consequences of giving, both at the micro-level and the macro-level. The Center is a strong advocate of open science, and not only provides open access to its research reports, but also to the primary research data it collects.

The Center’s flagship project is Giving in the Netherlands (GIN), a longitudinal study on the magnitude of philanthropy in the Netherlands. GIN is the standard work of reference for the entire philanthropic sector in the Netherlands, and an important basis for policy on philanthropy by the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Other significant research projects include:

  • The ERC-funded DONORS project, led by Eva-Maria Merz, on individual and contextual determinants of blood donations; 
  • The chair ‘Social significance of Charity Lotteries’, held by prof. Pamala Wiepking, on the consequences of long-term unrestricted funding to nonprofit organizations; 
  • Giving in Europe, which aims to standardize different data sources on philanthropy across European countries.
The Center developed the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), a network of about 250 researchers from 25 countries.

The Center for Philanthropic Studies (email:cfs@vu.nl) is coordinated by René Bekkers (r.bekkers@vu.nl). 

See also the websites of CPhS: www.geveninnederland.nl (Dutch) and www.giving.nl (English).

Prof. dr. René Bekkers
Drs. Barbara Gouwenberg
Caroline Graf
Barry Hoolwerf
Dr. Ting Li
Dr. Stephanie Maas
Dr. Eva-Maria Merz
Prof. dr. Theo Schuyt
Claire van Teunenbroek, MSc
Prof. dr. Pamala Wiepking
Dr. Arjen de Wit

PhD Students
Drs. Petra van Aken
Caroline Graf
Olena van Horick
Diederik van der Plas
Joris Schroeder
Joey Van Matre