Dr Beth Breeze, Director of the Centre for Philanthropy, received her OBE from the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle on Wednesday 7 December.
The honour was for services to philanthropic research and fundraising, and comes after a 25 year career dedicated to improving the practice and understanding of private action for the public good.
Dr Breeze spent a decade as a charity fundraiser before doing a PhD at Kent on contemporary UK philanthropy and co-founding the Centre on Philanthropy in 2008. She now leads a team undertaking research and teaching a range of programmes for professionals working in non-profit organisations, including an innovative Masters in Philanthropic Studies by distance learning. Her latest book, In Defence of Philanthropy, won the Skystone Partners prize. Since 2019 Dr Breeze has also directed the university’s Global Challenges Doctoral Centre which seeks to support research to help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Breeze said: ‘The honour is greatly appreciated and I see it as recognition for the importance of the field in which I am fortunate to work, along with so many wonderful colleagues at Kent, across the UK and globally. It is such a pleasure and a privilege to study, write about, and teach philanthropy. At a time when there are many misconceptions about why some people choose to give away some of their resources, my driving motivation is to better explain the necessity of private donations and the complexity of the philanthropic impulse in action.’
The Centre for Philanthropy, part of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, is a leading centre of philanthropy research, teaching and public engagement. The Centre conducts robust and relevant research, in partnership with charity sector partners on a range of topics, including fundraising, major donors, giving circles, giving across the life course, corporate philanthropy, and philanthropy’s relationship with social justice.