Dr Beth Breeze OBE

Director of the Global Challenges Doctoral Centre and the Centre for Philanthropy
University of Kent

Dr Beth Breeze is director of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent. She began her career as a fundraiser for a youth homelessness charity, and spent a decade working in a variety of fundraising, research and charity management roles, including as deputy director at the Institute for Philanthropy in London.  

Noting the lack of substantive research underpinning practice, Beth completed a PhD on contemporary philanthropy and moved into academia. She has since written and edited five books: Richer Lives: Why Rich People Give (co-authored with Theresa Lloyd), The Logic of Charity: Great Expectations in Hard Times (co-authored with John Mohan) and The Reader on Philanthropy (co-edited with Michael Moody). Her book, The New Fundraisers: who organises charitable giving in contemporary society? won the AFP Skystone Research Partners book prize, as has her latest book, published in Autumn 2021, ‘In Defence of Philanthropy’, which is a timely response to growing critiques of private giving. 

Beth has also written a wide range of research reports including ten editions of the annual ‘Coutts Million Pound Donors Report’, ‘How Donors Choose Charities’ and 'User Views of Fundraising'. She has worked on studies of giving circles, fundraising for ‘unpopular’ causes, philanthropy across the life-course, and corporate philanthropy on the shop floor.  

Beth is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for both the Center on Philanthropy at Geneva University, and the ESSEC Chair in Philanthropy, Paris. She has served as trustee for the Cardinal Hume Centre in London for young homeless people, as a Commissioner on the Commission for the Donor Experience, as publications editor of Philanthropy UK, as a member of the President's advisory council at NCVO; she also provides voluntary fundraising support to a range of charities.  

Beth is committed to bridging academia and practice, and is keen to take ideas and research findings to a wide audience. Her work has featured in philanthropy/nonprofit sector publications around the world and she frequently speaks at charity sector events, especially gatherings of fundraisers. Beth has contributed to discussions about philanthropy and charitable giving in a range of media including TV, radio, online news, broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. She has an energetic social media presence (@UKCPhilanthropy), frequently meets with relevant policymakers, and has given evidence on charitable giving and philanthropy to the UK parliament. 

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