Revolutionizing Philanthropy Research

It is time for an update to the literature review on philanthropy. In the 10 years that have passed since the first publication of the project, the number of studies on philanthropy has continued to increase. Meanwhile we have learned a lot about systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In addition, the Open Science Revolution has changed the landscape of the social sciences. We invite you to participate in an open collaboration: Revolutionizing Philanthropy Research. Visit the OSF page of the project to learn more and join us!


Philanthropy Research: A Growing Field

The field of philanthropic studies is growing. According to a recent estimate by David Horton Smith, taking a broad perspective of ‘altruistics’, about 8,000 researchers are active. In ‘A Brief History of Research on Philanthropy‘, one of the products of the literature review that forms the core of this website, the growth of research on philanthropy and its dispersion over academic disciplines is described. Here is a key figure from that paper.


Also the prevalence of ‘philanthropy’ in Google Books is increasing again since 1984.


The term ‘charitable giving’, though less prevalent than philanthropy, shows a steady increase since 1974.


Who Gives?

There are strong differences in the level and nature of philanthropy between individuals. Which characteristics of people are typical of generous donors? We’ve answered this question in two articles in Voluntary Sector Review. Part I deals with Religion, Education, Age, and Socialization. Part II deals with Gender, Family Composition, and Income.

If you do not get access to the publications through the links above, click here for Part I – and here for Part II.