Independent Centers
Philanthropic and Other Resources


ARNOVA- Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is the U.S.-based, national and international association that connects scholars, teachers, and practice leaders interested in research on nonprofit organizations, voluntary action, philanthropy and civil society.

Founded in 1971 as the Association of Voluntary Action Scholars, ARNOVA is a neutral, open forum committed to strengthening the research about and helping shape better practice in these realms. We bring together both theoretical and applied interests, helping scholars gain insight into the day-to-day concerns of third-sector organizations, while providing nonprofit professionals with connections to research they can use to improve the work of their organizations and the quality of life for citizens and communities.

The Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy, India

The Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy provides advice and assistance to a wide range of philanthropic institutions in areas of charity law, taxation, resource mobilization, human resource development, and effective management. The Centre publishes resource material and organizes programmes on good governance, resource mobilization, effective communications, finance and law. Additionally, the Centre undertakes research and critical appraisal of public policies affecting philanthropy.


Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

CSP, within the University of Cambridge Judge Business School is dedicated to enhancing the impact of strategic philanthropy both within and from global growth markets. Through a combination of rigorous research, executive education and the convening of diverse voices, the Centre aims to become the leading hub of actionable knowledge to catalyse greater philanthropic impact from the world's fastest growing regions.


Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society

CAPS is an action-oriented research and advisory organization committed to improving the quantity and quality of private social investment in Asia.


CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. As a global alliance of citizens and their organizations, CIVICUS helps advance regional, national and international initiatives to strengthen the capacity of civil society.

CCIJ: The Consumer Cooperative Institute of Japan

CCIJ was approved in 1989 and has since worked to fulfill its mission to as a think tank that promotes research and education dealing with the perspectives of problems individuals and cooperatives address. CCIJ contributes to understanding of citizen’s living and the development of co-operatives through its research on joint actions among co-op leaders, members, employees and researchers. The CCIJ maintains activities in research education, surveys, publications, documentation and networking.


China Foundation Center

The China Foundation Center is a legally registered public charity described in the regulation of Ministry of Civil Affairs in China. It is the world's leading source of China foundation information for shareholders in social sector. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in media, corporate responsibility, research institute, foundations, government, and donors, powered by the world's most comprehensive Chinese foundation database. We believe that the transparency of foundations can increase donation flow and effective social-problems solutions, which is how we impact China society.  Our mission is to bring transparency to philanthropic markets through access to the highest quality data, news, and analytics to enhance bigger social impact of philanthropy.

Council on Foundations

Established in 1949, the Council on Foundations is an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit membership association of some 2,000 foundations and corporate giving programs. The Council is a voice of philanthropy at the national level and a valued partner globally. The Council provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.

The Foundation Center  

Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to readily accessible tools and information. The Center maintains a comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and grants. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy. The Center's web site, five regional library/learning centers, and its network of more than 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions provide access to this knowledge in every U.S. state and beyond.

Independent Sector 

Independent Sector is the leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world. Our nonpartisan coalition of approximately 600 organizations leads, strengthens, and mobilizes the charitable community. Since our founding in 1980, we have sponsored ground-breaking research, fought for public policies that support a dynamic, independent sector, and created unparalleled resources so staff, boards, and volunteers can improve their organizations and better serve their communities.


INGO Scholars

INGO Scholars is a place for scholars of international/transnational/global non-governmental organizations to connect - share events, new publications, research and teaching questions and advice. INGO Scholars encourages scholars from all disciplines to engage with each other to strengthen  individual work as well as the field in general.

International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement/ IARSLCE

The mission of the Association is: “To promote the development and dissemination of research on service-learning and community engagement internationally and across all levels of the education system.” The Association is the only international organization whose primary purpose is to cultivate, encourage, and present this research across all engagement forms and educational levels; and it fulfills its mission by embracing all research frameworks (e.g., positivist, interpretive, participatory, critical, etc.), methods (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, mixed, etc.), and approaches (e.g., basic, applied, action, engaged, evaluation, etc.). The Association promotes high quality research across a wide range of approaches and forms and builds the capacity of scholars to engage in such research.


La Sociedad Civil

This site is developed and maintained as part of the ISTR Latin America and the Caribbean Third Sector Research Network and will focus on the nine countries of the Southern Cone and Andean Region.

NACC - Nonprofit Academic Centers Council

NACC is an international  membership association comprised of academic centers or programs at accredited colleges and universities that focus on the study of nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, voluntary action, and/or philanthropy.


Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy

The Centre promotes voluntary giving and serving in Pakistan, with the belief that bringing together the business sector, citizen sector and the government in this sentiment can make a powerful difference in addressing the challenges of poverty. 

Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

Through leadership development initiatives, convenings, and communications, the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation seeks to inform and maximize the impact of social actors, so that each can contribute to the good society, at home and abroad. The program recognizes that social actors must clarify their objectives, form collaborative problem-solving partnerships and strategies in order to succeed in advancing the good society.

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at Baruch College

The School of Public Affairs (SPA) at Baruch College launched the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management (CNSM) to address the needs of nonprofits that are often under-resourced, lack access to management assistance,  budgeting expertise and sound research on best practices. CNSM is a collection of outstanding professors and practitioners devoted to the nonprofit sector: its study, its practice, and its collective mission. Today, SPA and the CNSM offer a wide range of academic and non-credit programs and services oriented towards different needs and level of experience among practitioners in nonprofit organizations.

Social Ventures Partners International 

The mission of Social Venture Partners International (SVPI) is to support, enable and catalyze the Social Venture Partners movement by building a network of knowledge, sharing, and best practices and by maintaining the integrity of the SVP model and brand. The SVP model is unique in contemporary philanthropy in that it combines investment and education in order to create sustainable nonprofit organizations and lifelong, informed philanthropists. Today there are 2,000 SVP partners working with nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada and Japan. SVPI provides ongoing opportunities for its partners to connect, learn and build community with philanthropists from around the world.

Student Corner

The Student Corner site focuses on assembling and sharing knowledge and information with students about research on civil society and the third sector in Europe. The Student Corner directs student to five main areas of information: publications, places, PhD resources, programmes, and people. The European Commission finances the Student Corner through a grant to the European Commission-sponsored CINEFOGO - Network of Excellence .


Third Sector European Policy Network (TSEP)

The Third Sector European Policy (TSEP) network has brought together leading third sector and public policy researchers to analyze the development of European policy towards organisations between the market and the state – variously referred to by commentators as the voluntary sector, nonprofit agencies, the social economy, 'organised civil society' and the third sector. The collaborative study conducted since 2002 involved research partners in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Switzerland coordinated by a core British team. The network’s activities between 2002 and 2005 involved intense country level and Brussels based policy oriented fieldwork, generating a series of publications and reports, as well as policy workshops involving third sector policy actors at the sub-national, national and EU levels.


Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy

For nearly 20 years, the Center's scholars have analyzed the size, scope, and performance of nonprofits. Their research spans the many dimensions of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, including nonprofit governance, foundation activities, fundraising effectiveness, and nonprofit-government contracts and grants. They utilize Community Platforms to map community assets and examining the emerging fourth sector of “for-benefit” organizations, which pursue social or environmental missions through market-based approaches.


WINGS - Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support

WINGS is a network of 100 philanthropy associations and support organizations in 40 countries, promoting leadership on the development of philanthropy and social investment. Membership helps support nearly 100,000 philanthropic organizations.

Contact Us

International Society for Third-Sector Research
5801 Smith Avenue
McAuley Hall, Suite 245
Baltimore, MD 21209

Tel:   410-735-4221
Fax:   410-735-4201

About ISTR
Email ISTR
Mailing Lists Signup
Follow Us