The School of Philanthropy
Featured Research

Philanthropy Panel Study

The Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS), formerly known as the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study-COPPS, follows the same families’ philanthropic behaviors throughout their lives. The study provides nonprofit sector professionals, fundraisers, policymakers and public officials a unique perspective of families’ giving and volunteering behaviors over time.

About the PPS

The PPS is conducted in conjunction with the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which has surveyed the same households since 1968. As children of these respondents have matured, they have been added to the sample, which now exceeds 8,400 households. In 2001, researchers added the philanthropy component, designed and sponsored by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. The School conducted waves of PPS in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009. The School intends to repeat the survey every two years, pending funding.

The PPS is the only study that surveys giving and volunteering by the same households over time as families mature, face differing economic circumstances and encounter changes in their family size, health and other factors. It also is the only data available that asks families extensively about their wealth and philanthropy as well as income and other relevant factors.

Because the PSID employs genealogical sampling (those who are born or marry into sample families are included thereafter), the panel will allow researchers to study the transmission of philanthropic behaviors across generations and to study the relationship between helping family members and helping anonymous others. Finally, the panel data will help researchers distinguish types of donors who respond differently to economic, demographic, and environmental factors.

The Philanthropy Panel Study is supported 100 percent by donations and grants to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Funding for the research has been provided by Atlantic Philanthropies Inc., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and other donors and funders. Staff time and analysis work have been supported through gifts and grants from Campbell & Company, Lilly Endowment Inc., W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and donors to the School of Philanthropy Research Fund.

PPS findings (2009) - Zip File (13.1 MB)

COPPS findings (2007) - Zip File

COPPS Question sets (2001 - 2007) - Zip File

COPPS Data Extracts

Panel Study of Income Dynamics Data Site

Academic Studies Using PPS Data

Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS)

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