TSRC was the main UK contributor at the annual ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organisations and Voluntary Action) conference. We presented papers on a wide range of topics.
Matt Bennett’s paper is among the first to explore the link between prosocial behaviors, inflammatory markers and health outcomes. This paper uses blood samples from 13,000 adults in the UK and structural equation modelling to explore the direct and indirect relationship between volunteering/giving, inflammatory markers of chronic stress (C-reactive protein and fibrinogen), and subjective and physical health. He also co-authored a paper on trust and charitable giving, with Dutch colleagues, which explored whether the level of generalized trust in a country is correlated with the level of charitable giving, over and above the individual level relationship. In other words, does a culture of trust encourage charitable giving? The paper formulates hypotheses explaining if, and if so why and how, a culture of trust promotes charitable giving and tests them using multiple datasets, including data from the CAF World Giving Index, the Global Trust Research Consortium, and the Individual International Philanthropy Database.
Diarmuid McDonnell contributed to a co-authored paper on the fundraising levy in the UK and the participation of charities. The new Fundraising Regulator for England is funded through a levy on large fundraising charities. The paper exploits the sharp eligibility threshold in order to make a causal estimate of the effect of the fundraising levy on regulatory participation. We show that the levy was necessary to secure participation by charities, and cost was not a significant barrier to participation. The income from the Levy scheme is very significant, and without this it is likely that the level of resources available for fundraising regulation would be significantly lower.
John Mohan presented a paper with Diarmuid on long-run changes in the distribution of charities in England and Wales, drawing on research funded by the Leverhulme Trust on community-level changes in the voluntary sector. He also contributed an analysis of non-engagement in voluntary action, and (with Yeosun Yoon) a novel paper on financial trajectories of English and Welsh charities.