Global Philanthropy: Comparative Perspectives - SO978

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 7 30 (15) DR B Breeze checkmark-circle


This module will give an advanced level overview of the nature and practice of contemporary philanthropy across the world. It will examine how local contexts and processes of globalisation are affecting different forms of philanthropy found around the world. It will cover the comparative analysis of monetary donations, donor motivations, fundraising practices, tax incentives and welfare/market provision across a range of countries, and encourage students to critically assess how and why philanthropic behaviour varies across different political, cultural and socio-economic contexts. Drawing on current academic theory, knowledge and empirical research, students will gain a broader understanding of philanthropy beyond their own culture, and the growing role of philanthropic institutions in eliciting global change.

To enable this advanced level knowledge to be used in practice, cross-cutting thematic issues, such as the role of regulation and the impact of religion, as well as relevant ethical issues will be explored. Students will gain from this a systematic understanding of the role of global philanthropy in society. Experts in geographically-specific areas of philanthropy (for example, Russian Philanthropy) will provide a small number of guest lectures to illuminate these topics further.


Contact hours

Hours of study: 300 hours

Contact time:

Total contact hours: 50
Private study hours: 250 - private study including reading materials, research and assignment preparation time.



Method of assessment

100% Coursework comprising:

Coursework – essay (4000 words) – 60%
Coursework – assignment (2000 words) – 20%
Coursework - Online forum/seminar participation – 20%

Indicative reading

Aina, T.A. & Moyo, B. (eds.) (2013) Giving to Help: Helping to Give: The Context and Politics of African Philanthropy. Senegal: Amalion Publishing

Anheier, H. K., Simmons, A., & Winder, D. (eds.) (2007). Innovation in Strategic Philanthropy: Global and Local Perspectives. New York, N.Y.: Springer Science+ Business Media

Cantegreil, M., Chanana, D. & Kattumuri, R. (eds.), (2013) Revealing Indian Philanthropy. London: Alliance Publishing Trust

Jung, T., Phillips, S. D., & Harrow, J. (Eds.). (2016). The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy. London: Routledge.

Sanborn, C. & Portocarrero, F. (eds.), (2005) Philanthropy and Social Change in Latin America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Wiepking, P. and Handy, F. (eds.) (2015) The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Learning outcomes

30 credit module.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of the range of theories and key conceptual approaches to philanthropy in a global, comparative context
2. Demonstrate an advanced and systematic understanding of how philanthropy has developed alongside globalisation, in the UK and overseas, and how this has influenced contemporary debates around philanthropic giving
3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of the policy environment and the various actors (governmental, non-governmental and private sector) that shape the legal, fiscal and cultural context for philanthropy around the world.
4. Systematically evaluate literature on why donors (including individuals, companies, charitable trusts and foundations) make charitable donations, where they make donations to, and how other variables such as religion, gender, race, income, etc. affect these findings
5. Evaluate the merits of different types of data on global philanthropic activity, and produce reasoned, justified and creative critiques of the differing data's validity.
6. Act autonomously in creating and presenting critical ideas which can then be applied, along with theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge, in the tackling of philanthropic issues in a global context.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Make critical evaluations in order to effectively gather appropriate and reliable library and web-based resources for postgraduate study
2. Act autonomously in using web-based resources to augment knowledge gained from online seminars and web-based study materials
3. Demonstrate self-direction, critical judgement, and advanced theoretical knowledge in accessing, interpreting and analysing data
4. Use selected resources to construct critical arguments and be able to communicate these conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
5. Apply problem solving skills in the planning and implementation of professional practice based tasks
6. Apply critical reflection to both individual and organisational practice.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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