Third Sector Trends 2019 in North East England

Third Sector Trends is the longest running study of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in the UK. The study shows how the structure and dynamics of the third sector respond to political, social and economic change.

In so doing, it looks at how organisations and groups work get their resources, how they practice and what they achieve.

The findings help inform national and local government, private companies, health organisations and charitable foundations so that they make good decisions on how to invest in the third sector. And, of course, it also helps the third sector itself show the extent and value of the work it does.

Running now for 10 years, the study has run through four phases of surveying, allowing for long-term trend analysis. Last time around, the study drew 3,500 responses across the north.

What’s in the survey this time around?

The study has a core set of questions that don’t change – this provides the basis for trend analysis. But there is room to focus on new issues. This time around, the study will have four themes:

  • The extent to which organisations are earning income from trading and embracing ‘community business’ practices.
  • The impact the sector has on neighbourhoods and communities.
  • How modes of grant funding by charitable trusts and foundations affect sector dynamics.
  • The opportunities that exist for the third sector to work effectively with businesses.

Getting involved with the study

The study can only be successful if community groups, societies and clubs, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and community businesses complete the survey.

Whether your organisation or group is big or small, flourishing or struggling financially – or just carrying on more or less as normal – we need to hear from you.

The online survey is now live.

Headline findings will be published in December 2019 and the full results will be freely available from spring 2020.


Tony Chapman
St Chad’s College, Durham University