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Personal profile

Personal information

René Bekkers, Ph.D., is a full Professor of Philanthropy and the director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies at the Department of Sociology of 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 2001 he is co-designer of the Center’s biennial ‘Giving in the Netherlands’ Panel Study (GINPS). He is a co-founder of the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP) and currently serves as the chair for research.

He was appointed as full professor after a position (2013-2018) as professor by special appointment (‘bijzonder hoogleraar’) supported by the Van der Gaag Foundation of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

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.

At the Faculty of Social Sciences he serves as the director of the Research Master Societal Resilience, and the chair of the Research Ethics Review Committee.

Ancillary activities

  • VU Fonds | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2021-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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