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TSI News Alert #4 - News from Third Sector Impact

Monday, June 22, 2015   (0 Comments)
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TSI News Alert #4

News from Third Sector Impact




ABOUT Third Sector Impact

The third sector, consisting of civil society associations and foundations, volunteers, and other citizen organisations and activities, offers unique renewable and sustainable resources for social and economic problem-solving, democracy, and civic engagement in Europe. In times of social and economic distress and enormous pressures on governmental budgets this sector is an important partner in the effort to promote economic development and social cohesion in Europe.

To take full advantage of this resource we need a clearer understanding of the third sector – its scope and scale, existing and potential impacts, and barriers to full third sector contribution to the continent’s common welfare. Third Sector Impact (TSI) brings together researchers from 8 European countries in a comparative project, determined to address questions of third sector definition, measurement, impact assessment and ways to support its development. It includes a distinctive stakeholder engagement process to capture the insights of practitioners and include them in conceptualization, methodology and project outputs.
Know more



MEET the Coordinator on Third Sector Barriers



Dr. Annette Zimmer, Professor of Social Policy and Comparative Politics at Münster University
in Germany, was affiliated with the Program on Non-profit-Organizations at Yale University
(USA) and the John Hopkins Project. She is president of the International Society for
Third Sector Research (ISTR) and member of the Advisory Board of the German Survey on
Volunteering. Read more


"I am very proud to be a member of the TSI-team. TSI is at the frontier of nonprofit research. In many countries, civil society research exclusively focuses on topics closely affiliated with volunteering or giving. Sometimes political participation is also addressed. The infrastructure of civic engagement, however, is significantly neglected, in particular in Central European countries, both in government funded research programs and projects supported by private foundations.

TSI specifically researches nonprofits as the bedrock and infrastructure for civicness; engagement is of utmost importance. We need to know what hinders civil society organizations to achieve the very best for today´s troubled European societies. We certainly need to know how today´s nonprofit organizations manage to cope with an increasingly difficult organizational environment in terms of funding, government regulation and increased demands of the citizenry.

There are many lessons to learn! The results of TSI will be referred to whenever professionals and engaged volunteers will look for 'good' solutions and practical approaches to improve the impact of their organizations on local communities and society at large.



NEWS from the project


TSI uncovers a statistical revolution in data on the third sector in Europe
As part of the project's work with stakeholders TSI co-chaired an important event on 1 June with nine national statistical agencies and representatives of four different DGs of the European Commission in Brussels. The objective was to advise on better data collection on NPOs, volunteering and social entrepreneurship, uncovering substantial activity with regard to the portrayal of the organizations and individual activity that comprise the third sector in Europe.

Read more



TSI Consortium meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia
Partners met at the Center of Advanced Academic Studies (CAAS), part of Zagreb University in Dubrovnik, to report on progress of the different work packages and to plan further steps in reaching the project’s objective: to create knowledge to advance the contributions that the third sector and volunteering can make to the socio-economic development in Europe. Read more




TSI at NPO Day in Austria
TSI partner
Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien organised the 13th Day of Non-Profit Organisations in Austria on June 1st, bringing together researchers and national third sector stakeholders. The event, titled “From performance society to impact society” focused on the social impact of third sector activities. TSI’s Ruth Simsa represented TSI in her presentation “Measuring the unmeasurable: insights to a European research project”. Olivia Rauscher, co-author of TSI Working Paper “Methodological Guideline to Impact Assessment” introduced the concept of the “impact box” and discussed TSI’s report with participants. Read more





TSI follows a specific stakeholder approach to to capture the insights of practitioners on all working areas of the project - impact,concept, measurement, and barriers.

TSI launches online survey on third sector barriers in the The Netherlands
TSI aims to find out more about the current challenges and opportunities of third sector organizations in each target country we are working on (Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom). With the online survey “What moves the third sector in the Netherlands?” we want to find out how Dutch third sector organisations deal with challenges, respond to current trends and create impact. Surveys on third sector barriers are also being carried out in other TSI countries.
Read more




On the TSI Consultations blog practitioners, researchers and policy makers can contribute their observations and thinking and thus help TSI researchers understand the various impacts of third sector activities at societal, local and individual levels.

New Consultation

MEASUREMENT: The third sector has been invisible in European statistics for too long.

The lack of data on non-profits and volunteering hinders advocacy efforts of non-profits, citizen initiatives, social cooperatives, social enterprises and similar entities and individual actions that form the third sector in Europe. Researchers trying to demonstrate the added value of the sector are struggling to do so due to incoherent or no data availability.

How about national accounts on third sector activity and impact in your country? What data is missing? What actions can be taken to improve the situation? Are you aware of developments in that direction? Please share with the larger community working in and on the third sector and help bringing it into view in your country and in Europe.






Webinar on ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work on June 23, 2015
Ksenija Fonovic and Megan Haddock of TSI partners
SPES Italy and Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies are organising this exciting webinar. Streaming from 1- 2pm GMT.
Read more

TSI Plenary at 5th EMES Research Conference, 30 June - 3 July, 2015, Helsinki, Finland
TSI researchers Ulla Pape, Bartosz Pielinski, Benedikt Pahl and Danijel Baturina will introduce the project to a wide audience of researchers at this major conference organised by
EMES, one of the TSI partner institutions.
Read more

TSI at European Summer School on Social Economy (ESSE), 6-11 July, 2015, Bertinoro, Italy
Danijel Baturina from the TSI team at the
University of Zagreb in Croatia will introduce the project to fellow PhD students and discuss his thesis "Impact of the third sector on social and economic development of Croatia".
Read more

5th research conference on social economy, 15-18 July 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
TSI member Rafael Chaves of the
Research Institute on Social Economy and Entrepreneurship (IUDESCOOP) at the University of Valencia will present TSI at this year's 5th CIRIEC International Research Conference on the Social Economy.
Read more


TSI Panel at ISTR's 10th Annual Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference, 5 - 7 August, 2015, Puerto Rico
TSI Coordinators Annette Zimmer, Bernard Enjolras and Karl Henrik Sivesind will be there.
Read more


TSI presentation at 9th ISTR Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Tokyo, 27 - 28 August, 2015, Tokyo, Japan.
Project Coordinator Bernard Enjolras of TSI partner
Institute for Social Research in Norway will introduce the project to researchers from this region.
Read more

TSI Midterm Seminar and Barriers Focus Group, 13 October 2015, Brussels, Belgium
This seminar will present and discuss TSI's work on impact measurement and conceptualization. Following TSI's first event in Brussels in October 2014 European third sector and policy stakeholders are invited to further the dialogue with researchers and to participate in discussion groups on the barriers the third sector is facing at European level.

Read more


TSI at ARNOVA conference, 19-21 November 2015, Chicago, USA
Lester Salamon
, Coordinator for TSI's work on conceptualization and measurement, is organising a panel to discuss TSI's definition of the third sector in Europe at this year's ARNOVA conference themed "The Dynamic Landscape of Nonprofit Organiszation and Voluntary Action: Innovation, Inspiration, and Creativity Across Boundaries".
Read more




Third Sector Research Centre TSRC – University of Birmingham, UK

TSRC is the major UK Research Centre for work on the voluntary sector. It is based in the School of Social Policy, which includes Social Policy and Social Work, and the Health Management Centre. The School has particular strengths in third sector research, health and social care, social security and social exclusion, children and families, and race and diversity.
Read more






Ariane Rodert has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee since
21 September 2010. She is a EU Policy Adviser for the National Forum for Voluntary Social
Work (FFSA), Vice President of Group III presidency and President of the Social
Entrepreneurship Project at the EESC. She was actively involved in TSI's meeting with
statistical agencies
in Brussels on June 1st.
Know more



PARTNER and Stakeholder News

Civil Society Day 2015 - Civil dialogue for better legislation
Several of TSI’s EU stakeholders were involved European Civil Society Day on June 16th, an annual event designed tohighlight the contributions by civil society organisations to the building of a European Union which is more in tune with citizens’ aspirations. This year's event focused on setting up principles and guidelines for a permanent and structured civil dialogue at European level, based on the Road Map, adopted at the NGO Forum in Riga in March 2015.

Read more

TSI Partner EMES hosting major conference on third sector in Helsinki, Finland
EMES 5th International Research Conference on Social Enterprise (June 30th to July 3rd, 2015) focuses on the struggle of social to adapt to changing conditions in the wake of the crisis. It is a forum for truly international and interdisciplinary academic discussions about social enterprise, giving the floor to a variety of scientific approaches (non-profit sector, cooperatives, social economy, solidarity economy and civil society) as well as for emerging research communities.

Read more

Would you like your news and events relevant to third sector impact featured here? Email us at




National stakeholder institutions featured: 34
European stakeholder institutions featured: 14
News Alert subscriptions: 322
Facebook likes: 446
Twitter followers: 131


For any inquiries about the Third Sector Impact project, please contact Bernard Enjolras ( and Rocío Nogales (

TSI research partners:
Institute for Social Research (Norway), The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Italy), Wirtschaftsuniversitat Wien, Austria, University of Kent and University of Birmingham (United Kingdom), University of Münster (Germany), Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Universitat de Valencia (Spain), Faculty of Law Zagreb (Croatia), and the University of Warsaw (Poland).

TSI Support members: SPES (stakeholders’ engagement); EMES Network (communication and dissemination) and ERS (administration).




This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613034.


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