What We Do

Australian & New Zealand Third Sector Research is a network of researchers and practitioners working to strengthen and deepen research and practice in relation to civil society and the not-for-profit sector.

We provide a forum for third sector researchers to engage, learn and share expertise and experience with their peers – including through hosting events, publishing the Third Sector Review and a range of other activities.

You can read more about ANZTSR’s vision and mission here and more about our Board Members here.

We encourage all researchers and practitioners who share our vision to join us as a member – more information about membership and its benefits is available here.

Our History and Background

A brief history of ANZTSR is available here.

ANZTSR arose from the growing awareness of the importance of the Third Sector in Australia and New Zealand, and paucity of reliable information about it and the difficulty of working as isolated researchers.

The Third Sector is an important, but often under-valued and under-researched sector, which plays a crucial role in Australia and New Zealand and contemporary societies across the world.

ANZTSR joins similar organisations in the US (ARNOVA) and the UK (ARVAC) and the International Society for the Third Sector Research (ISTR) as active networks that promote communication between researchers and help develop synergies in the research endeavour. Research networks have also formed in several European countries and regions, in Latin America and Japan. These all testify to growing interest in the Third Sector.

The Third Sector is constituted by all those organisations that are not-for-profit and non-government, together with the activities of volunteering and giving which sustain them. These organisations are a major component of many industries including community health services, rural, education, housing, sport and recreation, culture and finance.

Third Sector organisations vary greatly in size and in their activities. They include neighbourhood associations, sporting clubs, recreation societies, community associations, chambers of commerce, churches, religious orders, credit unions, political parties, trade unions, trade and professional associations, private schools, charitable trusts and foundations, some hospitals, welfare organisations and even some large insurance companies.

Many terms are used to refer to third sector organisations in different industries and countries. These include non-profit, non-government, charities, community, voluntary, club, society, association, cooperative, friendly society, church, union, foundation and society. The name Third Sector has gained international acceptance as a positive and inclusive