Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world



I am Director of the Centre for Philanthropy, at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. I teach Masters-level courses on ‘The Art and Science of Fundraising’ (SO958) and ‘Advising Donors’ (SO962), and I contribute to undergraduate teaching on Volunteering (SO670) and the Third Sector and Society (SO645).

I have written four books:

as well as a wide range of research reports on issues related to charitable giving and philanthropy, including:

Current projects include: ongoing updates of the annual Million Pound Donor Report, funded by Coutts Bank; and a study of giving circles and collaborative giving in the UK.


I began my career as a fundraiser for a youth homelessness charity, the Cardinal Hume Centre and spent a decade working in a variety of fundraising, research and charity management roles, most recently as Deputy Director at the Institute for Philanthropy. I co-founded the Centre for Philanthropy in 2008.


I completed my PhD in Sociology at the University of Kent, my MSc in Voluntary Sector Organisation at the London School of Economics, my Certificate in Fundraising Management at the Open University and my MA in Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews.

Contact Information


Room CNE 109
Cornwallis North East
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Tuesdays 11.00-12.00, or by appointment

Please contact me by email

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Breeze, B. and Jollymore, G. (2017). Understanding Solicitation: beyond the binary variable of being asked or not being asked. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 22. Available at:
Eikenberry, A. and Breeze, B. (2017). Growing Philanthropy through Giving Circles: collective giving and the logic of charity. Social Policy and Society [Online]. Available at:
Body, A. and Breeze, B. (2016). What are 'unpopular causes' and how can they achieve fundraising success? International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 21:57-70. Available at:
Eikenberry, A. and Breeze, B. (2015). Growing philanthropy through collaboration: The landscape of giving circles in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Voluntary Sector Review [Online] 6:41-59. Available at:
Hogg, E., Kendall, J. and Breeze, B. (2015). The Third Sector and the State in England. Sociologia e Politiche Sociali [Online] 18:27-50. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2013). How donors choose charities: the role of personal taste and experiences in giving decisions. Voluntary Sector Review [Online] 4:165-183. Available at:
Wiepking, P. and Breeze, B. (2012). Feeling Poor, Acting Stingy: the effect of money perception on charitable giving. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 17:13-24. Available at:
Breeze, B. and Dean, J. (2012). Pictures of Me: User views on the representation of need in homelessness fundraising appeals. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 17:132-143. Available at:
Breeze, B. et al. (2011). What Role for Public policy in Promoting Philanthropy? Public Management Review [Online] 13:1179-1195. Available at:
Book section
Breeze, B. and Scaife, W. (2015). Encouraging Generosity. in: Handbok of Global Philanthropy. Basingstoke, Great Britain: Palgrave.
Breeze, B., Halfpenny, P. and Wilding, K. (2015). Giving in the UK: Philanthropy Embedded in a Welfare State Society. in: Wiepking, P. and Handy, F. eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, pp. 285-306. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2011). Philanthropy. in: Southerton, D. ed. Encyclopaedia of Consumer Culture. SAGE Publications Inc.
Breeze, B. (2011). Is there a 'New Philanthropy?'. in: Rochester, C. et al. eds. Understanding Roots of Voluntary Action; Historical Perspectives on Current Social Policy. Sussex Academic Press.
Breeze, B. (2009). 'Andrew Carnegie' and 'Marcel Mauss' . in: Anheier, H. K. and Toepler, S. eds. International Encyclopedia of Civil Society. Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Breeze, B. (2008). The problem of riches: is philanthropy a solution or part of the problem? in: Maltby, T., Kennett, P. and Rummery, K. eds. Social Policy Review 20: Analysis and debate in social policy. Oxford University Press. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2001). 'Annie Besant' . in: Rosen, G. ed. Dictionary of Labour Biography. Methuen Publishing Ltd.
Breeze, B. (2017). Good Asking: the role of research in efficient, effective and enjoyable fundraising. Institute of Fundraising. Available at:
Breeze, B. and Flaxman, K. (2017). Coutts Million Pound Donor report 2017. Coutts & Co. Available at:
Body, A. and Breeze, B. (2015). Rising to the Challenge: Fundraising for Unpopular Causes. University of Kent. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2014). Great British Philanthropy: Growing a fellowship of donors to support local communities. UK Community Foundations. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2014). Philanthropic Journeys: new insights into the triggers and barriers for long-term giving and volunteering. Pilotlight. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2013). Corporate philanthropy on the shop floor: what drives employee fundraising?. Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.
Breeze, B. (2012). Donor and Governmental Perceptions of Philanthropy. Alliance Publishing Trust. Available at:
Breeze, B. and Dean, J. (2012). User Views of Fundraising: A study of charitable beneficiaries' opinions of their representation in appeals. Alliance Publishing Trust. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2010). How donors choose charities: Findings of a study of donor perceptions of the nature and distribution of charitable benefit. Alliance Publishing Trust. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2010). The Coutts Million Pound Donors Report. Coutts and Co, London. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2009). "I can't afford to support every worthy cause": The role of donor taste, beneficiary need and nonprofit competence in selection of recipients for charitable donations. Economic and Social Research Council, UK. Available at:
Breeze, B. and Morgan, G. (2009). Philanthropy in a Recession: An analysis of UK media representations and implications for charitable giving. Sheffield Hallam University/University of Kent.
Breeze, B. (2009). Natural Philanthropists: Findings of the Family Business Philanthropy and Social Responsibility Inquiry. Institute for Family Business (UK).
Breeze, B. (2008). Investment Matters: In search of better charity asset management. Institute for Philanthropy: London.
Breeze, B. and Thornton, A. (2006). Raising a Giving Nation: A report on 3 years of research and activity with young people and schools by the Giving Nation programme. The Citizenship Foundation. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2006). Robin Hood in reverse: exploring the relationship between income and charitable giving Papers,Voluntary Sector Working 3. Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Civil Society, London School of Economics and Political Science. Available at:
Breeze, B. (2017). The New Fundraisers: Who organises charitable giving in contemporary society?. [Online]. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. Available at:
Moody, M. and Breeze, B. (2016). The Philanthropy Reader. London: Routledge.
Mohan, J. and Breeze, B. (2015). The Logic of Charity: Great Expectations in Hard Times. [Online]. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. Available at:
Lloyd, T. and Breeze, B. (2013). Richer Lives: Why Rich People Give. [Online]. London: Directory of Social Change. Available at:
Edited book
Moody, M. and Breeze, B. eds. (2016). The Philanthropy Reader. [Online]. London, UK: Routledge. Available at:
Edited journal
Breeze, B. ed. (2017). Understanding Fundraising: Special edition of the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing [Online] 22. Available at:
Internet publication
Breeze, B. (2015). Coutts Million Pound Donors Report 2015 [Web report]. Available at:
Research report (external)
Breeze, B. (2011). The Coutts, Million Pound Donors Report 2011. Coutts & Co.
Breeze, B. et al. (2011). Giving in Evidence: Fundraising from Philanthropy in European Universities . [Online]. European Commission. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 41 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

My research interests focus on philanthropy, charitable giving, and the charity sector.

I work within the Centre for Philanthropy, which explores philanthropic activities, social patterns of giving and the redistributive impact of transfers from private wealth to the public good. I also have an interest in the impact of philanthropy on social policy and political processes, and vice versa.

Current research

I am continuing to focus on major donors, in 2017 I am completing the 10th edition of the annual Million Pound Donor research as well as continuing to study those who ask for these largest gifts.

I also maintain an interest in collective giving, especially giving circles, and the broader topic of the science of fundraising.

Past research

From 2008-2013 I was part of the ESRC centre on Giving and Philanthropy, and from 2013-2016 I held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to undertake a project called 'The Formation of Fundraisers: the role of social skills in asking for money'. This study explored the art of fundraising and the personality traits of successful fundraiser and the findings will appear in a book called The New Fundraisers, to be published by Policy Press in November 2017.

I have also received funding from the European Commission to undertake a study of the role of philanthropic fundraising in universities across the European Union, and I have funding from Coutts & Co bank to write an annual report on UK charitable donations worth £1 million or more.

My doctoral thesis, completed in 2009, investigates the meaning and purpose of philanthropy in contemporary UK society. Based on secondary analysis of the public statements and giving patterns of 170 of the most significant philanthropists operating in the UK today, it argues that philanthropy is primarily a social relationship between givers and receivers, rather than merely a financial transaction, and that the philanthropic acts of the wealthy are part of a strategy - conscious or otherwise - to find meaning and purpose in their life whilst creating and communicating a positive identity to themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.

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I am a member of the teaching team on the MA Philanthropic Studies, convening two modules:

  • The Art and Science of Fundraising (SO958), in which students gain an advanced level overview of the current state of fundraising in the UK, including the evidence-based techniques and strategies endorsed by the professional bodies (the ‘science’ of fundraising), and the latest research on the personal attributes of fundraisers that are understood to lead to successful outcomes (the ‘art’ of fundraising).
  • Advising Donors (SO962), which provides a detailed and critical analysis of the role of philanthropy advising, allowing students to explore this knowledge through its application in real life contexts that are encountered in professional practice.

I also contribute lectures to the undergraduate module ‘The Third Sector, Charities and Social Enterprises in Modern Societies’ (SO645) and offer placement advice and assessment support on the ‘Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering: Platinum Award’ (SO670).

I supervise Undergraduate and Masters dissertations on a range of topics, often related to charities, philanthropy and the voluntary sector.

I am qualified to lead PhD supervisory teams, and am currently supervising PhD students writing theses on philanthropy in Higher Education and the everyday practices of fundraisers.

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Professional activities


  • I write regularly for national and charity sector media, in order to disseminate research findings as widely as possible to relevant audiences
  • In addition to the charity sector press, my research has featured on:
    • Radio 4 (including the Today programme, The World at One, You and Yours)
    • Channel 4 News
    • Regional BBC radio (Kent, Devon, Leeds, London and Scotland)
    • The Financial Times
    • Daily Telegraph
    • The Guardian
    • BBC Online
    • Guardian Online
    • New Statesman
    • Prospect magazine
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  • The following is a lecture about the kind of people who raise money for good causes (a Think Kent video, 2017)


Please also see In the News on the Centre for Philanthropy website.

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 14/11/2017