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The research notes are published quarterly. Previous editions can be found at the Member Portal.

Issue VII: June 2024


How pragmatic sociology can enable research to embrace the complexities of the third sector

Author(s): Janis Petzinger – University of St Andrews | Tobias Jung – University of St Andrews | Kevin Orr – University of St Andrews

Provided by: Katy Adams from the University of Heidelberg

The objective of this article is to show how the theoretical framework of pragmatic sociology can enable research to recognise and reflect on the uncertainties and ambiguities of the third sector. The key question of this article is how third sector research can respond to times of upheaval and organisational ambiguity.


Author(s): Claire van Teunenbroek – University of Twente | Rosa Smits – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Provided by: Maud Dik from Voordekunst

Reward-based crowdfunding, collecting funds online for a specific project, is increasingly used to support the culture sector. The article shows four implications, to take into account, for a cultural institution when they start a crowdfunding campaign. They focus on the following research question: How do employees of cultural institutions running a crowdfunding campaign perceive the use of crowdfunding to collect funds?


Author(s): Cristine Dyhrberg Højgaard – Copenhagen Business School | Liv Egholm – Copenhagen Business School

Provided by: Inés Sevilla Cabedo from Centre for European Volunteering

Volunteering is evolving and adapting to people’s needs and preferences, and it is important to understand how these new forms of volunteering can contribute to community well-being and how different ways of organising volunteering can impact the community actions. How do more flexible forms of organisation influence volunteering actions?


Author(s): Oto Potluka – University of Basel, Center for Philanthropy | Lenka Svecova – University of Chemistry and Technology Prague, School of Business | Lucie Zarubova – University of West Bohemia, Faculty of Economics

Provided by: Leigha McCarroll from Carleton University, Canada

In response to a growing trend of dissatisfaction with political representation (e.g., Brexit, the 2016 U.S. presidential election), there has been an increased focus on place-based approaches to political decision-making. In this article, the authors further investigate this dynamic in the context of the EU Cohesion Policy, analyzing the relationship between formal and informal leadership and politics to illuminate whether informal place leadership is filling the void created by growing dissatisfaction with formal political leadership.


Author(s): Julia Litofcenko – Vienna University of Economics and Business | Michael Meyer – Vienna University of Economics and Business | Michaela Neumayr – Vienna University of Economics and Business | Astrid Pennerstorfer – Vienna University of Economics and Business

Provided by: Rebecca McMurray

The world is in a state of ‘permacrisis’ and non-profits, reliant on the generous support of the public, need to continue to learn about the trends and motivators for giving, particularly how an individual’s experience of crises influences their giving behaviour. How does an individual’s experience of existential threats, such as a pandemic, change charitable giving behaviour?


Author(s): Maikel Meijeren – Radboud University | Marcel Lubbers – Utrecht University | Peer Scheepers – Radboud University

Provided by: Aleksandra Belina from the University of Warsaw and Good Network Foundation

Dutch civil society is seen as exemplary due to its high level of civic involvement. The article shows how civic involvement (membership, donating money, participating in an organization, and volunteering) in the Netherlands has developed between 2008 and 2020. The study is based on high-quality survey data derived from the Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences, a household panel aimed to represent the general Dutch population. The research question was: to what extent have forms of Dutch civic involvement in different organizations changed in the years 2008–2020?


Author(s): Alison Body – Centre for Philanthropy, University of Kent, Kent, UK

Provided by: Dr. Michele Fugiel Gartner from MFGChange Consulting

During middle childhood (ages 6-11), children experience important developments in their prosocial reasoning, including the consideration of intentions, consequences, and other peoples’ feelings. These are significant developmental phases, which link to giving and civic action agency, yet this time period has been underexplored in philanthropic research. The teaching of individual values and benevolence has been preferred over a more critical inquiry into societal structures and inequities. What is the impact of shifting to a justice-oriented approach to philanthropic citizenship education, moving away from an overfocus on children’s individual virtues and benevolence?


Author(s): René Bekkers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | Ji Ma, The University of Texas at Austin

Provided by: Catherine Desjacques from the Universite de Rouen Normandie

Dating back to the 70s, the research field of nonprofit and philanthropy is still an emerging one: This article describes the emergence of the field and the development of a shared language among researchers. It finds that knowledge on nonprofits and philanthropy became more cohesive over time: researchers use more shared language, especially since the early 2000s. Research topics that more productive scientists are studying have more shared language. More intensive collaboration among scholars is also associated with the use of shared language.


Author(s): Tara Kolar Bryan – University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Monica Lea – University of Nebraska at Omaha | Vladimír Hyánek – Masaryk University

Provided by: Daria Rybalchenko from National Network of Local Philanthropy Development

The central topic of this paper is the resilience and governance challenges faced by NGOs in the Czech Republic during the Ukrainian refugee crisis that began in February 2022. The practical relevance lies in understanding how NGOs can maintain their operations and provide essential services amidst such a large-scale humanitarian crisis. The key research question is: How do NGO leaders perceive the resilience of their organizations in responding to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, and what challenges do they face?


About the ERNOP Research Notes
Most academic research on philanthropy is underutilised, while on the other hand, there is a need for practitioners to learn from academics. Given limited resources within the academic and philanthropy community, academic insights should be used as much as possible. However, practitioners rarely have time and access to the work published in academic journals. Besides, not all content of academic papers is relevant for practitioners. At the same time, academics often do not have time and/or skills to make their work accessible for practitioners and, what’s more, they get little rewards for doing so as the number of individual publications is often too limited to build a constituency. Therefore the European Research Network On Philanthropy (ERNOP) –  the academic network of philanthropy researchers in Europe – develops the ERNOP Research Notes. The Research Notes are an initiative by ERNOP and endorsed by the European Fundraising Association (EFA), Philanthropy Europe Association (Philea), the Centre for European Volunteering (CEV) and Impact Europe.


More information about the Research Notes can be found here.