We are a collaborative research group involving over 50 scholars from more than 20 countries led by Visiting Stead Family Chair in International Philanthropy Professor Pamala Wiepking from the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Historically, knowledge of philanthropy has been dominated by research from North America and Western Europe. This poses a problem for international research because definitions of ‘philanthropy’ typically reflect Western and/or North American constructs and values (Wiepking, 2021).

We seek to redress this uneven development, by including researchers from geographically underrepresented areas, and re-framing philanthropy by using the inclusive term of ‘generosity’, in order to capture the variation of ways people help others and the world around them.

Our research questions include:

  • What kind of generosity behaviors do people across the world practice?
  • What is the language they use to discuss generosity behaviors?
  • What are the motivations they have for this behavior?
  • How are generosity behaviors formally and informally organized across the world?

With this innovative and collaborative approach, we aim to understand how generosity manifests across different countries, cultures and contexts. Knowledge of how generosity behaviors manifest around the world can be used to develop policies and practices that can help societies maintain a thriving and harmonious social fabric.

Find out more about the project at our Open Science Framework page here

About Pamala Wiepking: Pamala specializes in the study of philanthropy and nonprofit organizations from cross-national and interdisciplinary perspectives. She believes in collaborating with people from across the world to come to a more inclusive understanding of all types of generosity behavior.