Founded in 1992, the International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) is a major international association promoting research and education in the fields of civil society, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector. Based in the USA, it operates internationally.
The French Institute for Civil Society Organisations (Institut Français du Monde Associatif – IFMA) aims to reinforce understanding of the civil society sector in order to advance its recognition, its support, and to equip CSO actors and their partners to deal with challenges that inhibit its development. Created in France in 2019, it operates at the European level.
The Maecenata Foundation is an independent think tank specialising in the subjects of civil society, civic engagement, philanthropy and foundations. It sees itself as an impartial advisor to civil society and advocates for the transnational empowerment of civil society and the development of an open society in Europe and beyond.
Together we are pleased to launch the ISTR Europe and Neighbors research network. This network aims at bringing together researchers from all disciplines whose teaching, research and practice is connected to the various manifestations of the third sector and democracy, including civil society organizations, philanthropy, volunteering, social movements, social economy, and social innovation in and connected to European countries and its neighbours.
Our primary aim is to offer a space where members can share scientific information and materials, publications, funding opportunities, calls for proposals, and can offer and benefit from mutual aid and advice from the community. This network will also aim to foster international collaboration and research on European projects (such as COST, Horizon, Erasmus+, etc.).
This event will be held in Zoom meeting format so participants will be able to engage directly in the conversation. This will be an opportunity to hear more about ISTR and IFMA’s work, to get to know one another, and for you to share your feedback on a set of priorities for the work of this group and how a network might best meet your needs and interests.
About The International Society for Third Sector Research:
ISTR’s mission is to develop a global community of scholars, researchers and practitioners who celebrate diversity, non-profit and philanthropic commitment to society and rigorous interdisciplinary approaches in third sector research.
ISTR supports the production of knowledge by the global third sector community, identifies emerging trends, and advances effective dissemination of research findings. It nurtures early career third sector researchers through targeted mentorship and investment in their development.
It also fosters research in civil society, its relationships with state and market sector engagement and philanthropy that brings about positive social change and informs public policy. ISTR promotes academic integrity and freedom as well as freedom of association and expression for civil society practitioners globally.
It has developed several regional networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America & the Caribbean, and most recently the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). ISTR publishes Voluntas, a renown interdisciplinary journal of excellence, which provides a central forum for worldwide research.
About The French Institute for Civil Society Organisations:
The French Institute for Civil Society Organisations operates as a hub connecting academia and CSOs. It supports academic research relevant to the sector, and fosters the dissemination of scientific knowledge among CSOs.
The Institute has committed itself since 2022 to respond to CSOs’ knowledge needs at the European level. It launched a landmark report aiming at identifying the knowledge needs of civil society organisations in Europe. To do so, it led a working group, steered by Bernard Enjolras, Rupert Graf Strachwitz and Claire Thoury, gathering both actors and researchers specialised in civil society. Deductions from the working group confirmed the pressing need to invest in a better understanding of civil society in Europe. The conclusions of this group were published in the white paper “For a better knowledge of CSOs in Europe” (authored by Siri Hummel and Vinzenz Janßen), and a digital library of nearly 700 references was compiled. The Institute now aims at setting the path for the launch of an ambitious European research support programme over the next few years. In doing so, it will keep involving academia, CSOs and CSOs’ public and private partners in its work, for a better connexion between those sectors, and a better support for CSOs.
About the Maecenata Foundation:
The Maecenata Foundation is an independent tax-exempt operating foundation under German law, specialising in the subjects of civil society, civic engagement, philanthropy and foundations.It was founded in 2010 by Rupert Graf Strachwitz, who remains the chief executive officer until 2023. Two pre-existing programmes were incorporated into the foundation.
The foundation views itself as an independent think tank. Its mission is