This short briefing paper will use data from the Third Sector Trends study to explore the nature of the relationship between the private sector and TSOs in greater depth.

It uses data from the perspective of the third sector itself – providing insights into the extent and depth of support received from business, as well as the value of support provided. In addition to data on the degree to which the sector relies upon money received from businesses, this paper will consider other kinds of business support offered to TSOs. Such support can include, for example, offering the free use of facilities or equipment, the provision of pro bono expert advice or volunteering opportunities arranged through business schemes.

This briefing paper is not intended to be definitive – in fact it provides more questions than it answers. It is put forward in the spirit of provoking debate and encouraging further research regarding the different roles that business plays in relation to, and as part of, civil society in the North.