TSI News Alert #2

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 addresses all those areas in comparative research, combined with a unique stakeholder engagement process to capture the insights of practitioners and include them in conceptualization, methodology and project outputs.
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MEET the Concept and Measurement Coordinator

Lester Salamon is Senior Research Professor at JHU-SAIS Bologna. He is a leading global expert on the non-profit sector and initiator of the Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project. He is leading researcher on conceptualization and measurement, with the objective of producing a common defintion of the third sector and providing statistical tools to measure the sector's impact across Europe. Read more

“Seemingly warring factions of the research community have struggled to reconcile the American and northern European focus on non-profit-distributing organizations as the heart of the “third sector” and southern European emphasis as well on the sizable array of cooperative and mutual organizations that function more fully in the commercial market and make at least some distribution of profits.

The TSI project is attempting the heroic task of bridging this chasm and embracing as well the circles focusing on the new phenomenon of social enterprise by formulating a definition of the Third Sector that can win the endorsement of all of these camps.  Only in this way will it be possible to represent the European third sector effectively in the important policy debates now under way in Europe and assemble the coalitions of third-sector activists needed to put the third sector more fully on the economic map of the continent.”

NEWS from the project

TSI Working Paper: Methodological Guideline for Impact Assessment
This WP presents the results of a review of existing scientific literature, official reports and policy documents on impact measurement methodologies, discussed at the TSI impact group meeting in Valencia, 5-7 November. It also includes the results of TSI meetings with national and European third sector stakeholders in the form of a set of consensus impact indicators, both at micro (personal) and macro (societal) levels.
Read more

TSI Press Release on EU Stakeholder Meeting
Third Sector Impact project leaders met with stakeholders working at EU level to present TSI’s research objectives and to hear stakeholders’ expert views on third sector impacts and the barriers it faces at the EU policy level. Participants of the meeting were then encouraged to brainstorm on the most important fields of third sector impact and barriers at EU policy level and provided valuable recommendations to TSI researchers.
Read more


STAKEHOLDER Engagement Offline

TSI follows a specific stakeholder approach to to capture the insights of practitioners on all working areas of the project -  impactconcept, measurement, and barriers. One venue for stakeholder engagement are national or European stakeholder meetings, inviting views and opinions of practitioners, to be included in the TSI research agenda.

First national UK stakeholder meeting in London, July 31st
The purposes of the meeting were to raise awareness of TSI, to gather expert insights on which “impact domains” should be explored and how third sector impact is shaped by the current national public policy situation.
Read more

First EU stakeholder meeting in Brussels, October 15th
The Brussels meeting concuded that there is a need for a clear conceptualization of the third sector in Europe in order to strengthen its impact spelled out during discussions. The most important impact identified at EU level is broadening a culture of participation.
Read more

First national stakeholder meeting in the Netherlands, October 24th
Participants focused on new forms of volunteerism, the changing policy environment regarding the future of the welfare state, and the issue of advocacy and joint identity of third sector organisations in the Netherlands.
Read more


On the TSI Consultations blog practitioners contribute their observations and thinking and help TSI researchers understand the various impacts of third sector activities at societal, local, and individual levels. Consultations are on different aspects of TSI working areas, each running for several months. Share with us your experiences and thoughts!

BARRIERS - Autumn is hot in Brussels: what agenda for civil society?
How do you see the policy environment at the European level of governance at the moment? hat are the hot issues? hat impact do they have on the third sector? Are networks being listened to? Is there such a thing as a common agenda?

We are looking forward to your accounts!


First TSI national stakeholder meeting in Spain, November 25th
The meeting in Madrid invites third sector practitioners and policy makers to discuss the sector and its impact in Spain. More information soon at TSI Events


TSI Internal Consortium Meeting, Aix-en-Provence, 19-20 January
TSI consortium members will enjoy the milder climate of southern France while discussing past and future activities in light of findings so far.



Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) is EU’s largest university for business and economics, business law and social sciences. The Non-profit Group at WU has a recognized track record of researching impact-measurement, economic and social functions of non-profit organisations, developments of the sector, management of non-profit organisations, alternative forms of organising, inequalities in volunteering, giving and philanthropy.

WU researchers Ruth Simsa and Olivia Rauscher Developing are involved in the testing of third sector impact indicators and third sector measurement. They have produced TSI's furst Working Paper on Impact Assessment.

WU hosted the first TSI stakeholder meeting in Austria on May 12th.
More information on WU and the local TSI team


Volunteers’ Centre Zagreb (VCZ) is a civil society organisation dedicated to the development and promotion of volunteering in Croatia's capital. VCZ’s mission is to act as a resource centre encouraging personal and social development through mediation, education and promotion of volunteering on local and international level. They are a member of the Croatian Network of Volunteer Centers.
Know more about VCZ

PROJECT Statistics

November 2014
National stakeholder institutions featured: 23
European stakeholder institutions featured: 14
News Alert subscriptions: 243
Facebook likes: 220

PARTNER and Stakeholder News

TSI Stakeholder European Alternatives hosts #Fix Europe in Berlin
This event brought together activists from across Europe in a three-day campus environment for reflection, learning and strategising from October 21-24th.
More information here

TSI Stakeholder Telecenter Europe at ETYF2014
On 9-10th October Telecentre Europe took part in the 3rd Education, Training and Youth Forum entitled Future Priorities of the ET 2020 Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training and Synergies with Youth Policy.
More information here

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

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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