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Personal profile

Personal information

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

  • WWAV | Woerden | Adviseur | 2006-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

philanthropy Social Sciences
Netherlands Social Sciences
donation Social Sciences
crowding out Social Sciences
Helping Behavior Medicine & Life Sciences
citizen Social Sciences
altruism Social Sciences
Social Values Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2001 2019

Beyond Service Production: Volunteering for Social Innovation

de Wit, A., Mensink, W., Einarsson, T. & Bekkers, R., 1 Apr 2019, In : Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 48, 2S, p. 52S-71S 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
organizational structure

A life course perspective on blood donation: the influence of life events on the donor career

Piersma, T. W., Bekkers, R. H. F. P., De Kort, W. L. A. M. & Merz, E. M., Sep 2018, (Unpublished).

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractAcademic

Information effects
Literature review
Charitable giving
Social Psychology
Donation behavior

Philanthropy in the welfare state: Why charitable donations do not simply substitute government support

de Wit, A., 2018, 216 p.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VUAcademic

Open Access

Values of philanthropy

Bekkers, R. H. F. P., 12 Jul 2018.

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperProfessional

Open Access

Activities 2005 2017

  • 2 Conference
  • 1 PhD thesis examination
  • 1 Lecture / Presentation


Claire van Teunenbroek (Participant), R.H.F.P. Bekkers (Participant)
23 Jun 201724 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic

8th International Research Conference of the European Research Network On Philanthropy (ERNOP)

Claire van Teunenbroek (Participant), R.H.F.P. Bekkers (Participant)
13 Jul 201714 Jul 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic

Effects of social information on crowdfunding

Bianca Beersma (Examiner), R.H.F.P. Bekkers (Examiner)
2016 → …

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

From experimental games to prosocial behavior

P.A.M. van Lange (Speaker), M. van Vugt (Speaker), R.H.F.P. Bekkers (Speaker)
21 Jul 2005

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic