A comparative study of changes in earned income among third sector organisations in England and Wales, and the United States

Briefing and working paper: 47

Nonprofit scholars have noted an increased tendency for Third Sector Organisations (TSOs) to adopt commercial activities. There have been many different theories put forward to explain this 'changing nature' of the Third Sector in the US, particularly with regards to a perceived increased reliance on 'earned income'. Drawing on data from England and Wales and the United States, this research tests the assumption that social enterprise is an important revenue stream for TSOs, and examines the extent to which this is a recent phenomenon. The findings will be compared with similar research undertaken in the US to enable comparative learning and strengthen theoretical understandings.

In providing robust analysis of relationships between funding sources, this research will be of use to current and potential donors, governments wanting to support growth of the sector through the tax system, as well as organisations providing support to, and advocating on behalf of TSOs. It will also be of use to organisations that are concerned about future revenue sources, enabling them to compare their revenue sources with similar organisations and helping them to target particular revenue streams in the future.

The full research should be available by April 2011, and will be available from this webpage.

Research contact
Simon Teasdale