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President Heather Templeton Dill and the John Templeton Foundation are proud to be a part of the Generosity Commission which launched on October 12th. This commission consists of a group of leaders across business, philanthropy, and civil society that will address the ways in which generosity is conveyed in America, especially during times of conflict, and how it can be fortified. Following a two-year plan that calls for new research and national conversation, the Generosity Commission will explore and promote multiple ways that philanthropy, volunteerism and community are being redefined in 21st century America. The group’s two goals are to understand trends around generosity and to put a spotlight on the future of philanthropy and other forms of civic engagement in the country.

To achieve these goals, the Generosity Commission will research topics such as: trends in donating and their impact on community-based organizations; the impacts, positive or negative, of the pandemic and mandated lockdowns on acts of generosity; the ways in which volunteering is being redefined by the emergence of mutual aid networks; and the correlation between civic engagement and societal cohesion.

A central part of what the Generosity Commission will do is give concrete recommendations, actionable policies, and detailed steps that will help engage individuals and organizations all around the U.S. The commission is currently underway and will publish a report in 2023.

The first two studies in this undertaking have already been published. Forthcoming research will explore the causes of recent trends in volunteering and the relationship between giving and volunteering. Utilizing the cumulative findings, these studies will examine how generosity can be better understood, how it can be implemented across the U.S. and how public policy support can spur more generosity.

“As the leader of a foundation that has long funded research into the benefits of generosity, I am pleased to see the collective effort and focus being given to this important subject by many leading philanthropies and nonprofits,” said Heather Templeton Dill.

The John Templeton Foundation has funded extensively in empirical and practical work on generosity. Recent projects include Generosity in Young Children, Cross-Cultural Differences in Generosity, and Generosity for Life.

Still Curious?

To learn more about the range of work the Foundation has done on generosity please explore this research synthesis on the science of generosity commissioned by the Foundation.