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The decision to fund a Pears Philanthropy Fellow in the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent is a truly transformational gift. Many funders prefer to pay for something tangible, like a building, so we are delighted and grateful that Pears Foundation has decided to fund a lecturing post. We are confident this investment will have a positive impact beyond those who choose to study with us, but also on all those lives affected in the careers of students who go on, or go back, to leading positions in the charity and philanthropy sector.Dr Beth Breeze, Director, Centre for Philanthropy
We hope this post will contribute to a better understanding of the role of private giving in contemporary society, and offer practical ways to help grow an even stronger culture of British philanthropy for the future.Sir Trevor Pears CMG
Long established in the United States, Philanthropic Studies is a relatively new field of academic study in the UK.
Pears Foundation has provided a grant of £150,000 to establish the UK’s first dedicated university teaching post in the field of philanthropy as part of our efforts to strengthen the field and the voluntary sector in general.
Like many of the Foundation’s programmes in higher education, a key aim of the post is to strengthen the links between academic study and practitioners in the field. The aim is to educate students who wish to pursue a career in the charitable sector or related fields including the emerging philanthropy advisory sector, practitioners already working in the sector, and individual philanthropists who wish to gain a better understanding of the role of philanthropy and improve the effectiveness of their giving. It meets a need for new courses that will reach a wider range of people and new ways of delivering those courses.
Dr Triona Fitton has been appointed as the first Pears Philanthropy Fellow and her priorities include the creation of an innovative online Masters course in Philanthropic Studies, designed in particular for those working in the fields of fundraising and grant-making. From January 2016, the first cohort of Philanthropic Studies students will commence their studies with her, making use of the latest technology to study via distance learning as well as at study days on campus.
The post is located in the University of Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy, a leading hub for research, teaching and public engagement. Working in close partnership with the charitable sector, the Centre conducts research on a range of topics including fundraising, major donors, giving across the lifecourse, corporate philanthropy and the relationship between philanthropy and social justice. The addition of a teaching post will enable the Centre to ensure that its research has practical application and is being used to inform and improve practice.