Like many other parts of society, third sector organisations in the north of England are facing unprecedented uncertainty due to the immediate and longer-term impact of Covid-19.

In this report, we draw on the evidence of the Third Sector Trends Survey to examine how the sector has previously responded to severe economic and social crisis – namely, the 2008 financial crash and the subsequent decade of austerity.

While it is too early to draw firm conclusions, the data provide us with some insights as to the civic and financial resilience of the sector as well as its ability to adapt and change in the face of extreme challenge. We use this to identify the scenarios for the third sector and the potential lessons for sector leaders and policymakers.