René Bekkers

Professor | Director Center for Philanthropic Studies | Research coordinator | +31 (0)20 598 6493

Prof. dr. René H.F.P. Bekkers is the director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies and full Professor of Philanthropy at the Department of Sociology at VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Bekkers leads the “Giving in the Netherlands” project at the Center for Philanthropic Studies. His research on prosocial behavior takes a multidisciplinary approach to studying philanthropy, volunteering, blood donation and helping behavior. Bekkers is an internationally renowned expert in the sociology and psychology of altruism and survey design and has published internationally in scientific journals from a variety of social science disciplines. His current research focuses on determinants and consequences of charitable giving and volunteering.

Pamala Wiepking


Prof. dr. Pamela Wiepking is Professor of Societal Significance of Charity Lotteries as well as Stead Family Chair in International Philanthropy at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indianapolis. She studies cross-national and interdisciplinary explanations of philanthropy. More information about her research can be found at

Eva-Maria Merz


Arjen de Wit

Assistant Professor

Dr. Arjen de Wit is a researcher and teacher at the Department of Sociology at VU University, Amsterdam. Within the Center for Philanthropic Studies he studies philanthropy, grantmaking, volunteering, social productivity, social innovation, and nonprofit effectiveness. He partners with students, researchers and societal stakeholders to create impactful research.

Stephanie Koolen-Maas

Researcher | Project Coordinator +31 20 59 84365

Dr. Stephanie Koolen-Maas is a researcher and coordinator for the “Giving in the Netherlands” project at the Center for Philanthropic Studies, VU University Amsterdam. She conducts research on corporate giving, (corporate) foundations, volunteering and volunteer management, and bequests. Generally, her research focuses upon understanding various forms of private and corporate giving. She examines the causes, consequences, and management of (corporate) philanthropic contributions in money, time, or goods. As project coordinator she is the main point of contact for stakeholders, is in charge of project planning, and ensures that “Giving in the Netherlands” is completed successfully. 

Caroline Graf

PhD Candidate

Petra van Aken

PhD Candidate

Joseph Van Matre 

PhD Candidate

Joseph Van Matre, M.A. is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at VU University, Amsterdam. His research focuses on higher education policy, student development in higher education, and the social development of sexual minority adolescents and young adults. Prior to his work at VU, he has held staff research positions at the University of California’s Office of the President; Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education; and WestEd.

Theo Schuyt

Professor | President European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) | +31 (0)20 598 7681 

Barry Hoolwerf

Researcher | Director European Research Network On Philanthropy (ERNOP) | +31 (0)20 598 2738

Claire van Teunenbroek

Postdoctoral Researcher | Data Manager | +31 (0)20 59 83912

Joris Schröder

PhD Candidate

Olena van Horick

PhD Candidate