About CGG

Why are some people more generous than other people? And why are people in some countries more generous than people in other countries? Large differences exist in generosity between individuals and between nations. The Center for Global Generosity (CGG) seeks to answer the question how and why different people living in different cultures vary in the level and nature of generosity they display, and how we can successfully promote generosity behavior across different cultural contexts.

At the Center for Global Generosity we will distinguish between generosity motivations (the dispositions), generosity behaviors (the practices), and the societal consequences of generosity (the outcomes). Generosity motivation is considered to be the personalized concern for benefits to other individuals that leads to the display of generosity behaviors. We define generosity behaviors as the costly act on the part of the giver that confers benefits to recipients or society at large. Generosity behaviors include both formal and informal types of prosocial behaviors, such as philanthropic giving, volunteering, helping behavior, and organ and blood donation. The societal consequences of generosity refer to the increases in overall wellbeing and happiness measured along various indices.


The vision of the Center for Global Generosity is to make philanthropy more meaningful for researchers, organizations and society at large, and as such, aims to generate a comprehensive understanding of generosity motivations, behaviors, and it’s societal outcomes.

For Researchers

The Center for Global Generosity will make philanthropy more meaningful for researchers by acquiring and redistributing funding to researchers to produce cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that will change the future of generosity research. It will focus on the origins of generosity, develop and test explanations for generosity behavior from (evolutionary) biology, economics, public administration, sociology, history and psychology. Secondly, it will create the first global open-access database on generosity behavior and motivation. We aim to gather high-quality, international, qualitative and quantitative data on generosity motivations and behaviors, covering all world regions, and with that all relevant different cultural contexts. These comparative data will provide an invaluable source of data for understanding generosity at individual, organizational and national levels. Thirdly, the CGG will build an inclusive, interdisciplinary and international network of CGG Research Associates focused on the study of generosity motivations, behavior and societal consequences, facilitating and stimulating collaboration between researchers from different disciplines and nations.

For Organizations

We will make philanthropy more meaningful for organizations, by involving stakeholders in the formulation of research questions that form the base of the projects conducted at the CGG. Key stakeholders at the organizational level are fundraising organizations, grant making foundations, corporations (including corporate foundations), and other types of nonprofits.

Secondly, we will involve these key stakeholders in producing translational research. All the Center’s cutting-edge academic research will be translated to practical and usable knowledge. Based on the results of our research, we will facilitate changes in the successful promotion of generosity behavior across different cultural contexts.

For Society

Last but not least, we will make philanthropy more meaningful for society at large by showing the positive consequences of philanthropy, both at the individual level as well as on the organizational level. At the individual level generosity positively influences health, subjective wellbeing, as well as meaning of life. Giving, we believe, gives meaning to life, and allows at the organizational level to build social capital necessary for healthy communities.

Make Philanthropy Meaningful

Summarizing, the Center for Global Generosity will generate insights on the meaning of generosity motivation, behavior and societal consequences within different cultural contexts. We will make philanthropy more meaningful for researchers, organizations and society at large. At the core of our mission we want to explain why some people in some cultural contexts are more generous than others, successfully promote generosity behavior in different cultural contexts, and through generosity create more meaningful lives.