Science of Philanthropy Initiative Conference 2020

The 7th SPI Conference 2020

Keynote Speakers

Molly Crockett, Yale University
Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide
Jonathan Meer, Texas A&M University


This year’s conference will be moving to a virtual format. We regret not being able to gather in person, but feel this is a necessary precaution for the health and safety of our attendees during this critical time of social distancing.


Luigi Butera, Copenhagen Business School
Christopher Clapp, Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago
Sara KonrathIndiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
John ListKenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago
Amir Pasic, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Rich Steinberg, Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
Mark WilhelmIndiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Registration for the 2020 SPI Conference has now passed. Registration fees for SPI2020 were waived to allow for anyone interested to attend virtually. 

Register Now

SPI is an initiative started by John List, Michael Price, and Anya Samek in 2012 to encourage experimental (field and lab) research on charitable giving. In addition to providing an avenue for research discussions, another aim of the conference is to bring together researchers studying charitable giving with practitioners in the field of philanthropy.

We would like to invite presentations that use laboratory or field experiments to investigate social preferences that shape philanthropic giving (including altruism, reciprocity, inequity aversion, warm-glow giving, etc.), techniques charities may use to increase giving, the role of culture on giving, and development of social preferences (i.e., experiments with children/young adults).

Topics that are also of interest are volunteerism, the organization of charities/how they operate, and organ/blood donation. You can visit to see the papers that were presented in previous years. [SPI2019] [SPI2018] [SPI2017]

Additionally, we are pleased to announce a partnership with the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization to release a Special Issue focusing on The Economics of Charitable Giving. Papers accepted at the SPI Conference 2020 may be considered for publication in the Special Issue.

Feel free to contact the guest editors to discuss the fit of different topics to the Special Issue.

Please submit the 2020 SPI Conference Presenter Application Form by May 29, 2020. Prospective presenters will be notified of acceptance by June 19, 2020.

WATCHPresentations from the 2015 SPI Annual Conference