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René Bekkers, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. After he completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at Utrecht University, he received a personal ‘veni’ grant from the Netherlands Scientific Organization (NWO) to study the effect of education on prosocial behavior. Since 2013 he is a professor by special appointment (‘bijzonder hoogleraar’) at the Faculty of Social Sciences of VU Amsterdam. The chair is supported by the Van der Gaag Foundation of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW). He is co-designer of the Center’s biennial ‘Giving in the Netherlands’ Panel Study (GINPS).

He is also the research chair of the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP).  He has written extensively on the topics of philanthropy, pro-social behaviour, and morality. His current research examines the determinants and consequences of giving and volunteering, combining experiments and longitudinal panel survey methodology in a multidisciplinary approach. His series of articles with co-author Pamala Wiepking, “A Literature Review of Empirical Studies of Philanthropy: Eight Mechanisms that Drive Charitable Giving” (2011) and “Who Gives? A Literature Review of Predictors of Charitable Giving” (2011, 2012)  provide a comprehensive international overview of the available literature on philanthropy and charitable behaviour.

Ancillary activities

  • ARNOVA | Indianapolis | Bestuurder | 2019-11-16 - present

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