Third Sector Research Centre

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: College of Social Sci Res Support Office

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description • TSRC's quantitative researchers, in collaboration with NCVO, have established a major new dataset on charities in England and Wales including a Panel going back to 1993. This information is used in the production of NCVO's biennial Civil Society Almanac. Similar datasets on Scotland and Northern Ireland are being developed.



• TSRC, working with the providers, has made use of its quantitative analysis of major national surveys including the National Survey of Civil Society Organisations, the Citizenship Survey, the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, and the Labour Force Survey, to improve the coverage of third sector issues within them.



• TSRC has developed a major longitudinal study of the dynamics of 15 widely varying third sector organisations, together with contextual analysis of a wider group of complementary organisations. This unique qualitative resource, tracks the experiences and fortunes of organisations over five years of turbulent changes in policy and practice.



• TSRC's research on social enterprise includes papers on the problems of defining and measuring social enterprises.



• Work on the delivery of public services has explored the impact of partnership, collaboration and sub-contracting on third sector organisations, the policy and practice of commissioning, and key areas for third sector delivery including, criminal justice (offender resettlement), employment services (Work Programme), health and social care, and housing associations.



• Research on impact has included critical analysis of Social Return on Investment (SROI).



• TSRC has developed innovative work to identify and map the scale of 'below-the-radar' activity in grassroots and community organisations not captured in quantitative datasets, including those working in marginalised and vulnerable communities.



• Theory and policy analysis has included work on the problems of definition and the government's Big Society Agenda.



• Working with the British Library, TSRC has established the Third Sector Knowledge Portal, an easily accessible on-line database of information and research on the sector.



• TSRC has developed a Research Fellow Scheme with over thirty fellows adding value to its work, including the first prestigious William Plowden Fellow supported by NCVO.



• The Knowledge Exchange Team have become leaders in the field presenting internationally on the Knowledge Exchange, Communications and Impact model devised and implemented for TSRC.



• TSRC's 100th Working Paper has been published. TSRC's Working and Briefing Papers are accessed by policy makers, practitioners, and other researchers.
Exploitation Route Our findings are of direct relevance to policy makers in the third sector field in national and local government.

They have also informed the practice of a wide range of third sector organisations, in particular through our work with the leading infrastrucutre agencies supporting organisations in the sector.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

URL http://www.tsrc.ac.uk
 
Description Impacts on policy and practice TSRC was committed to a programme of active engagement with stakeholders in policy and practice to inform debate about the development of the sector and to provide data and analysis to support improved practice. This was facilitated by the knowledge exchange and impact strategy discussed above, and was focused on seeking to ensure that research activity was informed by the developing needs of policy makers and practitioners, and wherever possible had direct implications for policy or practice. In particular TSRC aimed to work in partnership with policy and practice agencies to co-produce outputs from the research and to direct these to the ongoing practice needs of agencies in the sector. Examples of partnership in societal and economic impact included: The Futures Dialogue - established in the summer of 2012 and running for eight months through to spring 2013, this used the findings from TSRC research to provide the basis for a dialogue on some of the key issues underpinning the future development of the third sector in England, focusing in particular upon how the sector would, and should, respond to emerging challenges. The dialogue took a number of forms including: • publication of a series of discussion papers from TSRC researchers outlining key findings and identifying issues for debate; • open invitation seminars where these findings were presented and discussed; • online 'Question and Answer' sessions hosted by Guardian Professional; • online commentary and blogs on a dedicated Futures Dialogue website established by TSRC; • meetings of a 'Sounding Board' of leading sector experts from policy and practice to debate the issues and discuss the future challenges for the sector; • a National Conference at the British Library in April 2013 where these issues were debated further by a large open audience. • The publication of a final report containing an overview of the conclusions from the dialogue and some of the challenges identified for the sector (Unity in Diversity: what is the future for the third sector? ) which was launched at the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering. NCVO Almanacs - based on the joint development and analysis of quantitative data on the third sector. The Charity Commission databases, created jointly with NCVO following the collapse of Guidestar, discussed above, provided the major source for the quantitative analysis of the sector published in the annual UK Civil Society Almanac by the NCVO. This is the major source of data on the sector used by policy makers and practitioners across the country and can only be produced because of the collaboration between TSRC and NCVO. Linked to this TSRC and NCVO have also collaborated with the sector skills agency, Skills Third Sector (now Skills Effect), to produce regular quantitative data on workforce trends in the sector, which has also been published as an NCVO almanac and has informed the skills development strategies of the agency. This work has helped to transform the information base for third sector policy and practice, and is used by large numbers of organisations to inform their strategic development and applications for funding. Making markets in third sector infrastructure - a programme of theoretically informed research charting the gradual emergence of a new market-oriented model of third sector support services ('infrastructure') over the last three to four years. Through presentations, workshops and roundtables the research has been accompanied by an extensive programme of knowledge exchange and engagement activities, reaching some 675 policy makers and practitioners over a two year period. In particular, TSRC's research has gained influence in the field through close partnership work with a number of leading sector agencies. With the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) this included a keynote presentation and workshops at successive conferences, and membership of the new Independent Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure. With the NCVO it included convening a research roundtable on infrastructure, and practitioner workshops and presentations at three major conferences. With the BIG Lottery Fund it included research and knowledge exchange activities on the emerging infrastructure-related 'Building Capabilities' framework, where TSRC has been commissioned to undertake a scoping study of 'what works in building the capabilities of frontline organisations' - a study designed to help shape the agenda for future investment and activity in this field. Third Sector Knowledge Portal - a new, free to use, online library and web catalogue. The Knowledge Portal was developed by TSRC in partnership with The British Library to promote and preserve evidence, research and analysis of the work of the voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. It brought together academic analysis, government studies, and reports from organisations themselves, and consolidated these in one easy to use and searchable collection of links and downloads. The Portal is underpinned by a unique third sector thesaurus of keywords, developed in partnership with the British Library. There are over 6,500 records in the Portal and every record in the catalogue has been manually classified at TSRC. Users can click the keywords and author names assigned to each item to find further related content. The Portal has a separate Twitter account with over 2,000 followers, which is used to promote links relating to topical issues, to engage with events and debates via Twitter hashtags, and to foster a 'user community' through informal dialogue and responses to queries. Significant additional funding to support the development and implementation of the Portal was secured from the BIG Lottery Fund. continued and ongoing impact is evident from repeated ongoing citations by prominent inquiries both governmental and non-governmental. for example, the Commission on the future of civil society, chaired by Julia Unwin, has made very extensive use of our findings and has invited members of our team to give presentations at inquiry hearings. the House of Lords Committee on charities (2017) cited our work in numerous places.
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Appearance to give oral evidence before House of Lords Select Committee on charities, 1st November 2016.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description EVidence to House of Lords Committee on charities - review of evidence on trends in voluntary action by individuals
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Evidence on the distribution, resources and characteristics of registered charities in England and Wales, drawing on collaborative work with David Clifford and Rose Lindsey
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Written evidence to House of Lords Select Committee on charities (jointly with Dr Beth Breeze, Centre for Philanthropy, UNiversity of Kent) on attitudes to charities, charitable giving, and fundraising.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Written evidence to House of Lords Select Committee on charities on the prevalence and distribution of high salaries in the charity sector in England and Wales
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Article in public interest media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the New Statesman, 21st January 2016, summarising key findings from John Mohan and Beth Breeze's book, The Logic of Charity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2016/01/charity-time-austerity-great-expectations-hard-...
 
Description Current patterns in civic engagement by age group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Written evidence on current patterns in civic engagement by age group presented to the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change.

Evidence included in Committee Report
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Deprived areas have fewer charities and voluntary groups 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A survey by the University of Southampton has found that there are approximately three times as many charities providing benefits to more affluent areas

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2011/sep/20/charities-voluntary-groups-deprived-a...
 
Description Effect of the NHS white paper on TSOs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact TSRC seminar

Infirmation shared with particpants
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/Pastevents/tabid/576/Default.aspx
 
Description Entrepreneurial ventures or agents of the state? : exploring the substitution effect between commercial revenue and grants : voluntary income among charities in England and Wales 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Presentation given in Atlanta, Georgia, 12/04/11

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Helping to map the foundations of a 'big society' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact News release on University of Southampton website

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.soton.ac.uk/mediacentre/news/2011/aug/11_77.shtml
 
Description Newspaper article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the Guardian, January 2014, critiquing contentions that "charity deserts" exist - as proposed by various Conservative leaning think tanks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/15/charitable-resources-not-targeted-where-needed
 
Description Oral evidence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Oral evidence to Great Britain, Parliament, House of Commons, Communities and Local Government Committee on 21 May 2012

Evidence included in Committee Report
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmcomloc/uc112-ii/uc11201.htm
 
Description Prisoners need greater awareness of third sector, says research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release on Third Sector Research Centre website

None
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.tsrc.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/Prisonersneedgreaterawarenessofthirdsector/tabid/829/Default.asp...
 
Description Real times : an in-depth study of third sector organisations over time 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Delivered at one day seminar, hosted by the Timescapes Initiative, University of Leeds

Promoted research development
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Smaller government : bigger society? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/parliamentarians
Results and Impact Written evidence submitted by the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre (BS 102) to the public administration select committee.

Evidence included in Parliamentary Report
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmpubadm/writev/smaller/bs102.htm
 
Description So special? : 'distinction' claims in the third sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Part of sociology and social policy seminar series

Further invitations to participate in discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Social enterprise start-ups blossom 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in Financial Times, 4th August 2011

Financial Times
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1d2b3ed2-aa2e-11e0-94a6-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1eRRDRP8P
 
Description Translating demands into decisions : the case of the public services (social enterprise and social value) bill 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at 'Getting research into public policy' summer school
http://as-coursecast-1.adf.bham.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=ee49ae75-9e9a-4c68-a555-40ef44c49ed5

http://as-coursecast-1.adf.bham.ac.uk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer/Default.aspx?id=ee49ae75-9e9a-4c68-a555-40ef44c49ed5
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Views of NCVO Almanac website - this publication is based on data jointly constructed by NCVO and TSRC throuh this project. The website had 247 000 views in 2016 and in 2017 (so far) over 63000. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Our dataset, which we are building on in this project, underpins analyses of UK civil society in the NCVO Almanac of Civil Society. Without ESRC support the data would not be available for analysis. NCVO report that the Almanac website has received 366 000 views in 2015, 247000 in 2016, and 63000 in 2017, to date. They have also published various blogs based on the data, available at http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk, which have each had several hundred reads.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016,2017
 
Description What effect will the 'big society' have on communities? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in The Guardian

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2011/aug/08/big-society-effect-communities
 
Description You and yours : discussion on charities and funding 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact John Mohan shared his expert views with Radio 4's You and Yours listeners about issues relating to the public funding of voluntary organisations, answering the question: at a time of cuts in levels of public spending, what proportion of organisations receive public income? What kinds of organisations are most likely to receive public funding? And what kinds of areas have a high share of publicly funded organisations? He was also asked his opinion on the extent to which voluntary organisations may be able to fill the gap left by cuts in public funding.

Led to further media interest in the research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description broadcast, BBC radio 4 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Broadcast on Radio 4' THinking Allowed, 21st March 2016, in the form of a discussion of my book (co-authored with Beth Breeze), The Logic of Charity, along with a prominent philanthropist (Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett) and Dr Lindsey McGoey (Author of No such thing as a free gift).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0738k6v
 
Description construction of database which underpins the efforts of NCVO to produce their annual statistical Almanac of civil society, a key reference source for decisionmakers and seekers of evidence both in the UK and abroad 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact the data underpins the NCVO Almanac and they produce a website through which its findings are disseminated. in 2015 they estimate that 305598 people used this website. the data are widely used in the third sector as an evidence base. they contribute to decisionmaking by funders, and by commissioners of public services
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://data.ncvo.org.uk/
 
Description further development of database which underpins the NCVO statistical almanac of civil society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact access to the NCVO Almanac website - this website is very widely used in the voluntary sector as a source of evidence for decisionmaking. in 2016 NCVO estimated that 206991 people visited the website. they use the data in a range of ways - assessing the health of the sector, looking at which organisations are growing / declining, the changing funding base, and so on.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://data.ncvo.org.uk/
 
Description views of NCVO almanac website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact the data underpins the NCVO Almanac and they produce a website through which its findings are disseminated. in 2017 they estimate that 203431 people used this website. the data are widely used in the third sector as an evidence base. they contribute to decisionmaking by funders, and by commissioners of public services
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://data.ncvo.org.uk/