Dr Beth Breeze donates book prize money to students in need

Olivia Miller

Dr Beth Breeze, Director of the University’s Centre for Philanthropy, is donating the $5,000 received from winning the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)’s Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy to students in need.

The 2022 AFP/Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy was awarded to Dr Breeze for her book In Defence of Philanthropy (Agenda Publishing), published in 2021.

Dr Breeze has chosen to donate her $5,000 prize to support a number of good causes, including a fund for students at Kent suffering hardship as a result of wars in Ukraine and around the world.

Through In Defence of Philanthropy, Dr Breeze questions the rationale for disparaging philanthropic acts and argues that although it may be flawed, philanthropy is a sector to be championed so an abundance of important causes can flourish. Dr Breeze is just the second researcher to receive AFP’s Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy twice, previously being recognised in 2018 for her book, The New Fundraisers: Who Organises Charitable Giving in Contemporary Society?

Dr Breeze, who was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2022, said: ‘I am so thrilled that this book has been well received, and truly grateful to have been awarded this prize for a second time. The two books share a desire to explain an important part of society that involve a lot of wishful thinking: both fundraising and big giving are far more complex than most people realise, and they do not happen successfully by accident. We need to have a better understanding of, and take greater care of, both the askers and the givers, if we want to have a thriving non-profit sector.

‘I have donated £1,000 to the Kent Refuge Fund, to help those affected by the devastating war in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. The University of Kent in America (UKA) association (Kent US-based alumni) are also aiming to raise at least $10,000 for this fund through a matched funding appeal. The remainder of my prize fund will support young refugees.

‘Donating the $5,000 prize fund to my chosen causes is important to me because I realise what an incredible privilege it is to live in a safe country. Everyone is moved by the suffering caused by conflicts around the world. We feel helpless watching awful images on the news night after night, and want to do something to help. This prize money was totally unexpected so it was an easy decision to give it away to people who need it more. As my book argues, philanthropy is one of the ways we can express solidarity and show what side we are on, as well as offering practical help in an imperfect world.’

UKA is a US registered charity which raises funds for exciting student-focused initiatives. UKA activities are coordinated by a dedicated set of volunteers who sit on the Board and guide the group in their efforts to assist Kent with international recruitment, developing and connecting alumni and fundraising to support students.