TSI News Alert #5

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 a Member of the TSI Impact Group
Dr. Ruth Simsa is Scientific Head of the Non-profit Competence Centre at Vienna Business University. Her research interests focus on contributions of non-profit organizations to society as well as NPO impact, management, and leadership. In September 2015 she took over the editorship of Voluntas, the official journal of the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR). Read more
„I like participating in the TSI project because it is necessary to get more data on the impact of the sector as well as on barriers making everyday life of third sector organizations difficult. We aspire improving the conditions for third sector entities. Generating and collecting data on their impact might contribute to the legitimacy of the sector."
NEWS from the Project
TSI Midterm Seminar with EU third sector stakeholders shows multiple barriers
On 13 October TSI organised a Midterm Seminar with old and new stakeholders working at European level to discuss findings and opportunities for third sector participation in EU policy making. The event unveiled a number of barriers for effective participation, as third sector organisations and social enterprises alike are under increasing pressure to demonstrate impact and justify public money spent on their work, creating a range of challenges distracting them from their social mission.
Read more
TSI definition and impact work at ARNOVA conference in Chicago
Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski and Ruth Simsa promoted TSI's consensus conceptualisation of the third sector and the project's work on impact assessment in Chicago.
Read more
TSI at Workshop on Satellite Accounts
TSI’s Lester Salamon will participate in a workshop organised by Luxemburg Union on Social and Solidarity Economy on 13 October, discussing how to establish satellite accounts on the social economy of a country.
Read more
TSI cooperates with Volonteurope on impact measurement
TSI Norway partners teamed up with Volonteurope in the organisations' effort to improve the standards of measuring the impact of volunteering in terms of social value. Together they will engage in awareness raising and dissemination on measurement indicators in participants’ organisations and networks. Activities are targeted at decision makers and practitioners. Read more
Progress in empirical analysis of third sector impact
One of TSIs objectives is to address the lack of united systematic methodological guidelines and empirical analyses of third sector impact in Europe. After elaboration of a set of impact indicators both at the micro (individual) and macro (societal) levels, we can now report progress on our next objective: The analysis of existing data to test the methodological validity of TSIs impact indicators. Read more


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

TSI at ISF breakfast seminar
The Norwegian TSI team at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo presented TSI during a breakfast seminar to around 80 invited stakeholders from third sector and policy sector to discuss the TSI conceptualization of the third sector in Europe, its political implications in Norway and the Norwegian third sector fabric. Read more
TSI stakeholder meeting on third sector barriers
German third sector stakeholders contributed to TSIs work on the identification of third sector barriers that hinder nonprofits to flourish and prosper – and that might even keep them from fulfilling their civil society functions.
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
BARRIERS - The endangered sector? Finding voice in policy discourse
At European level expectations of the third sector have changed over time, moving from interest in the sector as economic partner, mostly in terms of job creation, over legitimising factor of EU policies, to a more pragmatic approach that reduced expectations of third organisations to provide expertise, represent the interests of citizens and consumers, and to provide services in a decentralised way. At the recent TSI Midterm Seminar in Brussels third sector stakeholders expressed numerous grievances that result from this vision of partnership. Read more

Tell us about your experience of barriers when it comes to participation in policy discourse. How do you and your organisation encounter such challenges? Please share any creative ways you employ to continue fulfilling your social mission.
TSI meeting with third sector stakeholders in France, 7 December, Marseille
The TSI France team is inviting all stakeholders who participated in the research on internal and external barriers the third sector is facing in France to a presentation of finding and results.

Read more

Discussing barriers with third sector networks, 7-8 April, Rome, Italy
The meeting will convene representatives of third sector networks from TSI target countries to discuss the results of the TSI comparative research on enabling and hindering factors for the development of the third sector, and formulate policy recommendations.

Read more
TSI in Hong Kong, 13-15 April 2016
TSI’s Taco Brandsen will present the research results on internal and external barriers for the third sector at the next International Research Society for Public Administration Conference. Read more


The Institute of Social Research, Warsaw University, Poland
The Institute for Social Policy at the University of Warsaw is one of Poland’s oldest academic centres offering teaching programmes and research. It is home of the Centre for Civil Society Development, a research unit within the Institute. Its teaching and research activities concentrate on the reforms of European social policies, the challenges of the welfare mix and the functions of the third sector and social economy in social welfare delivery and the process of public governance. Read more


CEV European Volunteer Centre is a European network of over 80 national, regional and local volunteer centres and volunteer support agencies across Europe. CEV promotes and supports volunteering through advocacy, knowledge sharing, capacity building and training. In this way they reach out to the many thousands of volunteers and volunteer organisations who look to volunteer centres as a source of support bringing the European dimension to their work. Read more

PARTNER and Stakeholder News

OECD Policy Brief on Social Impact Measurement for Social Enterprises
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently issued a policy brief on Social Impact Measurement for Social Enterprises to better asses the social value and impact produced by their activities.
Read More

EMES PhD Summer School call for applications launched
The call for applications for the upcoming 5th EMES International PhD Summer School is available now. The PhD summer school will be hosted by the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University (EMES institutional member in the UK) on from 22-25 June 2016. The third sector is one of the key thematic areas included in the EMES Summer School. In addition, TSI partner Taco Brandsen will be one of the faculty members. Applications are accepted until 1st February 2016. Read more


National stakeholder institutions featured: 48
European stakeholder institutions featured: 18
News Alert subscriptions: 486
Facebook likes: 563
Twitter followers: 182

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.
Copyright © *|2014|* *|LIST:EMES asbl|*, All rights reserved.
 *|LIST:TSI News Alert|*
unsubscribe from this list
update subscription preferences