Team

René Bekkers

Professor | Director Center for Philanthropic Studies | Research coordinator

r.bekkers@vu.nl | +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

Professor

p.wiepking@vu.nl

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 www.wiepking.com.

Eva-Maria Merz

Professor

e.m.merz@vu.nl

Eva-Maria Merz is professor in Donor Behavior and group leader at Sanquin Research. She combines her theoretical and applied expertise within the topic of (blood) donor behavior in order to study donor life-courses and the influence of personal and social network characteristics on donor behavior. More information about her research can be found at www.donor-research.org.

 

Arjen de Wit

Assistant Professor

a.de.wit@vu.nl

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

s.a.maas@vu.nl +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

c.graf@vu.nl

 Caroline Graf is a PhD candidate at the Center for Philanthropic Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She investigates how culture, in particular social norms, shapes our motivations and behavior. Her research combines psychological theory with economic modeling, lab and field experiments, and cross-cultural observational studies. She is particularly interested in using insights from cultural evolution research to devise more effective strategies for promoting real-world prosocial behaviors, such as blood donation.

 

Petra van Aken

PhD Candidate

PvanAken@vsbfonds.nl

Joseph Van Matre 

PhD Candidate

j.c.vanmatre@vu.nl

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)

t.schuyt@vu.nl 

Claire van Teunenbroek

Postdoctoral Researcher | Data Manager

p.s.c.van.teunenbroek@vu.nl 

Joris Schröder

PhD Candidate

j.m.schroeder@vu.nl

Joris M. Schröder is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Sociology at VU Amsterdam. His PhD research focuses on how social relations affect blood and plasma donation behaviour, for example through communication, social contagion, or group-membership. In addition, Joris works on the relationship between inequality and giving.

Olena van Horick

PhD Candidate

o.van.horick@vu.nl

Alexandra Ciausescu

PhD Candidate

a.ciausescu@vu.nl

Alexandra is an external PhD candidate working on the Learning to Donate (LEARN-DO) project for Sanquin, the Dutch blood bank. She is examining inter/intragenerational transmission of blood donor behavior, develops and tests educational materials about donation for children and adolescents and creates interventions for blood donor recruitment.