Research/Networking Covid-19 and Third Sector
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ISTR's new research and networking forum is designed to provide an active and engaging space for our members to share new research being carried out on Covid-19 and the Third Sector. Use this space to share research ideas, identify research partners/collaborators, seek feedback and support on work-in-progress, and solicit and discuss research ideas and methods. Also use this space to publicize relevant reports, op-eds, papers, etc. you have published that might be of interest to your peers and provide links to collections of research being compiled by other organizations that represent third sector sub-fields (philanthropy, volunteerism, governance, legal studies, etc.) or global regions (Asia, LAC, Africa, Europe, etc.) to facilitate the cross-pollination of ideas. We will cross post these on our static resources page: This forum is open to all, though you must be logged in to an ISTR account to post. To post, click on "Add new post" below.


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Philanthropy During COVID-19: The Urgency of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Lens

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Sunday, April 12, 2020

On behalf of PhiLab,The Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network, I would like to share a recently published article Adam Saifer, one of our research members on the urgency for philanthropy to adopt a DEI lens to face the current COVID-19 crisis.

"I urge foundations not to abandon their DEI lens. Instead, they must understand the ways in which the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 are DEI issues as well. Or, better yet, they should consider the ways in which race, gender, and sexual orientation (among other facets of identity/axes of oppression) shape how, and to what degree, the effects of COVID-19 are experienced differently across Canada. Contrary to what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Madonna claim, COVID-19 is not “the great equalizer.” Rather, foundations need to be acutely aware of how COVID-19 reinforces and magnifies persistent structural inequities in our society. In doing so, foundations will be better poised to face this crisis head-on and—just as importantly—be better equipped to take on future crises."

Read the full article here: Philanthropy During COVID019: The Urgency of a Diversity, Equity, and Diversity (DEI) Lens

Tags:  DEI  Diversity  Equity  Inclusion 

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Volunteering in Solidarity #VISCovid19

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 9, 2020
CEV, The European Volunteer Centre, has compiled examples of how volunteers and volunteer organisations in Europe are responding and “Volunteering in Solidarity” to meet the needs of vulnerable people during this COVID-19 crisis. Follow #VISCovid19  for individual volunteer stories from these initiatives. Read the examples here.

Tags:  Europe  Volunteering 

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Philanthropy and the Coronavirus crisis : Making the shift towards a preventive model

Posted By Katherine MacDonald, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

On behalf of PhiLab,The Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network, I would like to share a recently published article on four strategies being used by the third-sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked an unprecedented state of emergency in Quebec, Canada, and the rest of the world. Reassuringly, we are also witnessing a wave of solidarity, mutual aid and generosity that rises to the challenges emerging alongside the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The strength and resilience of philanthropy, when faced with large scale international issues, has already been discussed this past Januaryduring the Australian bushfires[1].

 Manifestations of solidarity will continue to increase with the recent announcement of the UN’s “Global Humanitarian Response Plan” paired with a 2 billion dollar call for donations. The Secretary-General, António Guterres, who has already spoken out against the “million” deaths caused by lack of solidarity, has reinforced his claim, on March 25th of this year, by calling out the inevitable need for solidarity at the global level, as “countries’ individual responses will not be enough”. Within this global pandemic, what role does philanthropy play?"

The article is available in different formats and has been published on various platforms as listed below.

In French

Long version: Face au coronavirus, une mobilisation sans précédent des organisations de bienfaisance,

 Short versions:

In English:

Short version: 

 We hope these resources can help push other third-sector entities to reflect on the many opportunities. PhiLab is also working on an upcoming special edition on the current pandemic specifically and how the Canadian philanthropic sector is reacting. I will be forwarding the different resources and articles that come from it here. If you have any questions or would like to participate in this edition as guest writers, please do not hesitate to contact me at .

Tags:  Canada  Philanthropy 

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Open letter: Donors and supporters must act to ensure civil society resilience against COVID-19 pandemic

Posted By Anabel Cruz, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

CIVICUS calls on all donors and intermediaries providing essential support for civil society to adopt similar approaches by offering as much flexibility, certainty, and stability towards grantees and partners as possible.

Tags:  covid-19  donors 

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COVID-19 Report

Posted By Colton C. Strawser, Tuesday, April 7, 2020
On behalf of The Nonprofit Institute, I would like to share a report we released last week - Nonprofit Sector Response to COVID-19: The Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on San Diego County Nonprofits

In an initial effort to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local nonprofits’ ability to meet their community’s needs, The University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Institute issued a survey to nonprofit leaders on March 18, 2020. The aim of this report is to provide real-time data to government officials, foundations, and other decision-makers about the current economic conditions facing nonprofits and the need for immediate and long-term support in order to ensure the ongoing provision of critical services in the San Diego region.

Over 400 nonprofits weighed in on the various challenges facing their organizations, and we believe similar challenges are being faced by nonprofits throughout the country as well. 

We are freely sharing the survey instrument with other academic institutions interested in surveying their local nonprofit sector as well. If you would like a copy of the survey or have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at 

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ISTR President Welcome

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 6, 2020

As President of ISTR I have been given the privilege of opening this forum, an initiative that we hope will become a lively source of discussion, debate, dialogue and information. Now that most of us are practically glued to our home computers, this seems like a good time to begin online communications and discussions. Given that our conference plans for Montreal have gone the way of all events in the coming months, please imagine this as one stream of alternative communication between and for you and your fellow ISTR members.

Because it is a global issue and we are all touched by the massive changes going on in response to it I thought I might offer some thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic.

For researchers and scholars this is is a time of overwhelming complexities, multilayered effects and an unknown future. For the third sector, predominantly organisations concerned with human services and human rights, it is a time of great challenge. Across the world, governments have really struggled to respond to every aspect of social need and protection. The messages people have been getting have been confusing and, in some cases, confusing and insufficient. There are also the huge threats emerging to democracy and human rights as those in power begin to possibly overstep their powers and exercise ideological agendas under the auspices of ‘protective measures’.

The obvious ways we can measure and understand the impact of the coronavirus is though data and personal stories and how the media reports the details. What is evident is that with the varied messages and measures about and for isolation, marginalised people, usually cared for or supported by third sector organisations and volunteers are largely excluded from national strategies. People who are homeless, people at home in dangerous or precarious safety situations, people on temporary visas and refugees and people with uncertain legal status mostly cannot benefit from the many efforts by governments to address the widespread health needs, unemployment and other economic consequences of stopping usual services and community activities. Therefore, the many organisations that generally provided services to marginalised groups also need to be part of economic and social strategies. More that ever community based and international NGOs should be included in national and local strategies for minimising the health, social and economic impact of the pandemic. It would be good to pass on examples, from around the world, of how the third sector has stepped up and made itself heard during this crisis.

For example, here, in Australia, third sector organisations were listened to and responded to after they began to get lots of calls from women now trapped at home and at risk of domestic violence (DV) - with no capacity to escape a situation exacerbated by restriction of movement, their partner losing work and becoming unemployed, a rise in alcohol abuse and other factors of control creating extra risks to their safety. The Australian government has made a large funding allocation to increase the capacity of DV Support services to assist in this time of crisis. This is on the back of reports that came out of China indicating a dramatic rise of DV due to home isolation strategies to limit the pandemic.

So I invite you to contribute to this blog and keep us thinking and engaging!

Ruth Phillips

ISTR President



Tags:  Australia  member 

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The false idea of a "risk group" and the new coronavirus

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A falsa ideia de "grupo de risco" e o novo coronavírus, by ISTR Board Member Mario Aquino Alves, FGV São Paulo School of Business Administration, Brazil.  



Tags:  Brazil  Member 

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How funders can respond during COVID-19 by Ingrid Srinath

Posted By Megan Haddock, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

ISTR member Ingrid Srinath is the founding director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University. CSIP, India’s first such academic centre, aims to galvanise the ecosystem for philanthropy and social impact in India towards greater impact, relevance, resilience, and recognition.

Here is a link to her article published in the India Development Review, "How funders can respond during COVID-19: From having check-in conversations to proactively disbursing funds, here's what funders can do to support their grantees during this crisis."

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COVID-19 Resources for Researchers in the Third Sector

Posted By Megan Haddock, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Many sub-fields within the third sector are collecting valuable resources related to the pandemic that are useful for researchers in the sector.  Many terrific resources pages are available within sub-fields and by region. 

We do not seek to replicate or provide links to every resource page. 

Rather, ISTR's Covid-19 resource page assists third sector scholars by highlighting especially relevant research material and links to other especially relevant pages and organizing it by sub-field and region. 

Take a look here:  If you know of something we should add to this page, please post something below or email us at 

Tags:  Resource page 

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