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!
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.
Researchers across disciplines base new studies on philanthropy on existing knowledge. A special issue of the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing shows how. You can download the introduction here.
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.
People may have very different reasons to engage in philanthropy. What do we know about the academic literature about philanthropy? We answer this question in an article in Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly.