UK Centre for Philanthropy Studies Opens Doors
March 9 2009, The Journal — Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have teamed up with groups from the universities of Strathclyde, Kent, Southampton, and Cass Business School to form a new centre that will support research into charity and philanthropy.
The UK's first research centre for charitable giving and philanthropy launched in mid-February and is funded through a partnership of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office, the Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Government.
Carnegie UK Trust Chief Executive, Charlie McConnell highlighted the importance of four UK universities working together to enhance research and development support for charitable trusts and foundations.
He said: "It is a reflection of the explosion of charitable giving and philanthropy in recent years, and we believe it will enable the sector to make a more effective contribution towards addressing social, economic and environmental challenges in the UK and internationally."
The collaborative effort aims to build a better understanding of charitable giving and philanthropy among third sector organisations—i.e. charitable and voluntary organisations—government, and business in the hope of helping to increase support for the public good.
Phil Hope, Minister for the third sector commented: "Having a dedicated research centre for giving will help us to better understand the motivations behind why people give and the reasons why they choose to give in particular ways."
The centre will support high-quality research aimed at influencing policy and practice decisions in the UK, as well as developing knowledge and theory about charitable and philanthropic issues.
Professor Jenny Harrow from Cass Business School, the director of the new centre, commented: "We aim to be a centre of excellence for independent, high quality, innovative, strategic research, enhancing the evidence base to inform charitable giving and philanthropy development, as well as a hub for engaging national and international stakeholders, for capacity development and knowledge exchange."