TSI News Alert #6

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.
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MEET the TSI Croatia Team
Dr. Gojko Bežovan is Professor of Social Policy at the Institute for Social Policy (ISP) at the University of Zagreb and leader of the TSI Croatia team. He is founder of CERANEO – Centre for Development of Non-profit Organisations, a Croatian think tank dealing with action oriented research and advocacy on the role of civil society and the third sector in social policy. Dr. Jelena Matančević holds a PhD in Social policy. Her fields of interest as a researcher include civil society, welfare mix and Europeanization. Danijel Baturina, PhD candidate and research assistant, has participated in several research projects about civil society, social innovation and social entrepreneurship as a new developmental concepts. Read more
"The topics of social economy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation became relevant with Croatia’s membership in the EU. However, the academic community had little influence on translating and accommodating these terms in the national third sector landscape. The concept of the third sector as such is little known among professional groups and virtually unknown to policy makers – explaining the unfavourable policy and tax incentives for activities of third sector organisations. This is why TSI is an important project for us.

The City of Zagreb was a partner of the recent Euclid Summit, during which we were able to present TSI’s work and agree with city officials to present an overview of the role of third sector organisations in larger European cities, including information about possibilities for EU funding of such activities in City of Zagreb."


NEWS from the project

TSI definition of third sector in new UN Handbook on measuring nonprofit impact
TSI’s consensus definition of the third sector will be included in the revised version of the UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts – thus fulfilling one of the objectives of the project, which is to have an expanded concept of the third sector concept incorporated into international statistical procedures at the highest level. TSI's Lester Salamon is presenting the new Handbook to the UN Statistics Division on Tuesday, 8 March 2016. Read more

New TSI Policy Brief on Impact Measurement
TSI’s new Policy Brief “Assessing the impact of the third sector in Europe: From concept to metrics. Progress on indicators and methods” addresses TSI’s contribution to a coordinated European approach that can reliably identify causal links between third sector activities, their impacts and infrastructure elements by which they are significantly determined. It outlines what is needed to establish documentation of the impact of the third sector and volunteering Read more


First research article beased on TSI findings
As TSI is completing various of its research objectives scientific articles are being published in research journals. Taco Brandsen and Ulla Pape made a start with a contribution on government and  nonprofit partnerships.
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Second TSI meeting with national stakeholders on 15 December in Zagreb and Euclid Summit
The TSI Croatia team has been busy these past few months. The TSI team presented and discussed the findings of research on third sector barriers with civil society networks in Zagreb. The discussion showed, once again, that the concept of the third sector is still rather unknown to policy-makers and the wider public in Croatia. Stakeholders recognized the importance of articulating issues of the third sector in the public domain for further development of the sector. A few weeks later Gojko Bežovan presented TSI’s work in a keynote presentation on „Barriers and challenges to developing the third sector across Europe” at this year’s Euclid Summit in Zagreb. Read more
French stakeholders on TSI barriers research
TSI France researchers Francesca Petrella and Nadine Richez-Battesti met with third sector stakeholders in Marseille on December 7, 2015, to present the main results of the French study on barriers to the development of third sector organizations.
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TSI breakfast seminar in Oslo
The Norwegian TSI team at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo presented TSI during a breakfast seminar on 24 November 2015 to around 80 stakeholders from umbrella organizations, national organizations and others 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 follows a specific stakeholder approach to to capture the insights of practitioners on all working areas of the project -  impactconcept, measurement, and barriers.
TSI discusses third sector barriers with stakeholders in Rome
TSI will convene representatives of large national 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 third sector, and formulate policy recommendations on infrastructural elements needed at European and national levels. The meeting is facilitated by TSI partner SPES.
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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

IMPACT: Your message to policy makers

In our latest TSI Policy Brief we tell tell policy makers that
  • inequalities in opportunities to participate in third sector activity need addressing;
  • third sector specific contributions to systemic societal change must be further studied and highlighted;
  • standardized indicators of third sector impact at the macro-level are urgently needed.

We say this because TSI empirical research unmasked some widely acquired beliefs. We would like to confirm our findings with your experiences, and thus strengthen the call on policy makers to include certain reflections on impact in future policy considerations



TSI at UN Statistical Commission
Lester Salamon will present the revised Handbook on Non-Profit Institutions in the System of National Accounts, which includes TSI's definition of the third sector thatincludes aspects of the socal economy.

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TSI Penal at ISTR Conference in Stockholm, Sweden
We are delighted to announce a panel session on TSI at this years ISTR Conference “The Third Sector in Transition: Accountability, Transparency, and Social Inclusion” in Stockholm, Sweden. The panel will be titled “Empirical Assessment of Third Sector Impact”.

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Discussing Barriers with third sector networks in Rome

Third sector network representatives from TSI target countries will discuss TSI research findings on barriers and policy recommendations.
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Department of Political Science and Public Administration - Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Radboud is one of the leading academic communities in one of the oldest cities of the The Netherlands. It brings together expertise on governance, civil society and the third sector, combining disciplines such as political science, public administration, organisational theory, economics and gender studies, using both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection.
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Franz Neunteufl is President of Austrian umbrella organisation Interest Group of Public Benefit Organizations (IGO), a pressure group of currently 43 NGOs. A current effort is trying to bring Austrian NPO umbrella organizations together in order to improve the exchange among them and to strengthen third sector representation in Austria.
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PARTNER and Stakeholder News

A State of Democracy: Report om citizens rights protection in the EU
TSI European stakeholder
organisations European Civic Forum and Alternatives published a report on citizen rights, proposing more participation, more dialogue and placing the citizen at the heart of European policy making.
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TSI Partner EMES hosting conference on Polanyi, Paris

in collaboration with the European Institute of Political Economy Karl Polanyi and the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, will organize the 2nd EMES-Polanyi International Seminar on 19th and 20th of May 2016 focusing on contemporary modalities of the relationship between economy and democracy.
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Would you like your news and events relevant to third sector impact featured here? Email us at



National stakeholder institutions featured: 56
European stakeholder institutions featured: 33
News Alert subscriptions: 509
Facebook likes: 642
Twitter followers: 210

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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