Alison Body is a Senior Lecturer in Philanthropic Studies & Social Policy with the Centre for Philanthropy, at the University of Kent, leading their successful MA Philanthropic Studies programme.
She began her career working for the YMCA and spent over a decade working for children’s charities as a youth worker, fundraiser, and senior manager. She then went on to work for the local authority as a Commissioner for children’s services. Having written her PhD on the impact of commissioning on children’s charities delivering early intervention services, she has remained interested in the intersect between the State, education, and the charitable sectors, and particularly how charities shape education, alongside children and their family’s lived experiences. She has written numerous studies on fundraising and voluntary action in education, alongside research exploring how children’s charities navigate austerity.
Her current research interests focus on how children ‘learn to give’ and the role of education in raising philanthropic and socially orientated children, with a particular emphasis on younger, primary aged children. In April 2020 she published her book, ‘Children’s Charities in Crisis: Early Intervention and the State’, with her next book due for publication in Autumn 2022, titled ‘Children as Change-Makers: Civil Society and Children’s Philanthropic Citizenship’. Currently Alison is leading a team of researchers in a national 3 year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Funded project titled 'Educating for 'Public Good': A critical study exploring how philanthropic citizenship is encouraged in primary education'.