Coordinating Team

European Foundations for Research and Innovation

VUlogogriffioenThe Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU University  is the coordinating university during the EUFORI Study. The EUFORI Study coordinating team, consisting out of a management team and project team, is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Center for Philanthropic Studies at VU University Amsterdam conducts research and educates professionals in all areas of the Dutch philanthropic sector. The Center is the leading unit in the Netherlands for research on philanthropy. More information about the Center for Philanthropic Studies can be found at


Project Team

Drs. Barbara Gouwenberg

Since 2007 Barbara Gouwenberg has been head of commissioned research of the department of Philanthropic Studies. She is coordinator of the ‘Giving in the Netherlands’ research project; a biennial research project on charitable donation patterns in the Netherlands. Every two year this results in the publication of the book ‘Geven in Nederland’ of which she is one of the editors. Since July 2012 she has been project manager of EUFORI Study, an EC commissioned research project.

Barry Hoolwerf MSc

Barry Hoolwerf is responsible for the educational programmes that are carried out by the Center. He is also project manager of the European Research Network On Philanthropy, which was initiated by the Centre for Philanthropic Studies at VU University in 2008. As a researcher, he is involved in the European Study On Foundations (EUFORI) and the role of philanthropy on a meso-level.

Danique Karamat Ali MSc

Danique Karamat Ali is a junior researcher at the Center for Philanthropic Studies. In the past, she has supported the center’s European ‘Giving in Evidence’ project. Currently she is working on the EUFORI research project with the aim to quantify and assess foundations’ financial support and policies for research and innovation in the EU.


Management Team

Prof. Dr. René Bekkers

René Bekkers is Director of the Center for Philanthropic Studies and Professor Social Aspects of Prosocial Behavior at VU University Amsterdam. After he completed his Ph.D. in Sociology from Utrecht University, he received a personal grant from the Netherlands Scientific Organization (NWO) to study the effect of education on prosocial behavior. His current research takes a multidisciplinary approach to examine determinants and consequences of giving and volunteering, combining experiments and survey methodology.

Prof. Dr. Theo Schuyt

Professsor Theo Schuyt Ph.D  is  Professor Philanthropic Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the founder of the Center for Philanthropic Studies. His major fields of research are Philanthropy, Sponsoring and Volunteering. In 1993, he started the “Giving in the Netherlands” project.  In 2001 he got the chair “Philanthropic Studies” at the Vrije Universiteit. Now, he is deeply involved to support the Dutch Philanthropic Sector to professionalize. In addition, he is working to transfer his research to the rest of Europe in order to establish Giving Europe.

Prof. Dr. Jan Smit