René Bekkers new director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies

Posted on January 6, 2014 in News, News Archive

René Bekkers new director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies

As of January 1, 2014 René Bekkers is the new director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU University Amsterdam. Bekkers (1974) continues the work of the Center’s founder, Theo Schuyt. Schuyt remains Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Bekkers remains Professor Social Aspects of Prosocial Behavior. As the new director, Bekkers will continue the Center’s research on Philanthropy in the Netherlands, that Schuyt started at VU University Amsterdam. Since 1995 the Center publishes ‘Giving in the Netherlands’, the biennial macroeconomic study of sources and destinations of philanthropy, based on microdata about households, corporations and endowed foundations, and on additional data on charity lotteries and bequests. The Dutch government funds the research. The next edition is planned for publication in 2015. Bekkers: “I am extremely proud that I can continue this line of research. Giving in the Netherlands shows the societal significance of philanthropy. Because of its longitudinal design and its rich set of measures it is unique in the world, and of great scientific value.”

In the past years the research at the Center for Philanthropic Studies has increasingly focused on Europe. In 2007 the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) was founded at VU University Amsterdam. The ERNOP counts about 100 members in 20 countries. In 2011 the Center published ‘Giving in Evidence’, a comparative study of philanthropic sources of funding for universities and other higher education institutions. Currently the Center coordinates the EUFORI study on European Funding for Research and Innovation, conducted by a consortium of experts in 29 countries in Europe. The Center will continue this international line of research in the coming years. Schuyt remains the chair of ERNOP until 2018. In 2014 Bekkers will start a two-year European study on the impact of volunteering on volunteers and society at large.

Bekkers is Professor Social Aspects of Prosocial Behavior since January 2013, supported by the Van der Gaag Foundation of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been involved in the Giving in the Netherlands research since 2001, obtained his PhD at te Department of Sociology at Utrecht University in 2004, and came to VU University Amsterdam in 2008. His research examines causes and consequences of philanthropic behavior using a combination of longitudinal panel surveys and experiments. Theo Schuyt is sinds 2001 professor of Philanthropic Studies at VU University Amsterdam.

More information about René Bekkers is at his blog,