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Koç University Center for Civil Society and Philanthropy Research

Koç University Center for Civil Society and Philanthropy Research (KÜSİTHAM), a research center established at the Koç University. As the first research center opened in Turkey on civil society and philanthropy, it was opened under the directorship of Prof. Ali Çarkoğlu on the occasion of the Vehbi Koç Foundation’s 50th anniversary.

KÜSİTHAM aims to create a multi-disciplinary environment for scientific research and activity on the topics of civil society and philanthropy by bringing together experts from diverse fields in economics, business administration, political science, sociology, law, and history. It seeks to create research of global impact, support research projects, and launch scientific publications to help further understanding of the structure and dynamics of civil society. It also aims to support the development of civil society and philanthropy by providing research and training programs that will offer guidance to those working in the field of philanthropy.

To mark the opening of the center, a conference and workshop titled “Trends in Philanthropy: A Look from Turkey” were held on 1 and 2 October 2019, respectively, at Koç University’s Rumelifeneri Campus. Participants included international scholars and civil society experts. Discussions focused on global and regional trends in philanthropy, on the current issues and needs in the field, as well as on the center’s future agenda for research, training and collaboration.

“As we celebrate our Foundation’s 50th anniversary, I am very proud of the opening of the Koç University Center for Civil Society and Philanthropy Research, which will conduct research, education and professional development activities in the field of civil society. Civil society has a significant role in development of countries, and we have been feeling the lack of research and development activities in this field. As the first private foundation in Turkey, the Vehbi Koç Foundation pioneered the development of philanthropy in our country. In the past 50 years, we have been conducting a great many activities to advance education, culture and healthcare to help the development of our country and its people. The same philosophy underlies the establishment of this research center today. Our center will conduct studies, guide researchers, and undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students working in the field of philanthropy, and host their work. In addition, it will provide certificated training opportunities for professionals working in foundations, associations or wanting to start working in this field, about topics such as leadership, strategic management, fund raising, and impact measurement. It will also work in partnership with pioneer global institutions. Koç University, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, represents our foundation’s most essential core. It provides significant contributions to the development of universal science and our human resource, which is our most precious asset. This research center, as all the others previously established within Koç University, is of great value to us and given its focus, its place within our foundation will always be a special one.”
Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.