Arjen de Wit was recently nominated for the Research Award by the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In this one-minute video, he briefly introduces his research on the interactions between philanthropy and the welfare state.
Currently, Arjen studies nonprofit organizations, volunteering and student involvement. The Dutch Charity Lotteries give part of their income to charities, largely without restrictions. Mixed-methods research shows how grantee organizations use this income for financial stability, sustainable HR policies and innovations. Arjen’s dissertation (2018) questions the expectation that people give more to charities when the government cuts on spending. Whether donors ‘fill the gaps’ depends on their knowledge of government policies and the type of organization to which they donate. In addition to revenues, many charities depend on volunteers. Longitudinal analyses show that volunteers are – and remain – healthier. As a productive and meaningful activity, volunteering can protect against deteriorating health, especially among the elderly and the weak. Furthermore, Arjen participates in the development of the A Broader Mind Longitudinal Survey, which examines the personal, social, professional and civic development of VU students.