UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Civil society data partnerships: open data, grants data and the funding base of the third sector, 2004-2015

Title details

SN: 852652
Title: Civil society data partnerships: open data, grants data and the funding base of the third sector, 2004-2015
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852652
Depositor: John Mohan, University of Birmingham
Principal investigator(s): Mohan, J, University of Birmingham
Kane, D, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Rahal, C, University of Oxford
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council
Grant number: ES/M010392/1


The citation for this study is:

Mohan, J., Kane, D., Rahal, C. (2018). Civil society data partnerships: open data, grants data and the funding base of the third sector, 2004-2015. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 852652,

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Subject Categories

Social welfare policy and systems


Abstract copyright data collection owner.

Data collection comprising information about public sector procurement from Local Authorities in the UK and Clinical Commissioning Groups in England from 2013-15, funding awards made by foundations and charitable funders, and data on recipient organisations, mainly charities and social enterprises. Data were sourced from a large number of local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups by downloading the datasets from authority websites. Each of the datasets were then cleaned, including identifying missing or incomplete rows andconverting dates into a standard format. This data collection represents a formidable resource which has the potential to inform analyses of the distribution of funding to third sector organisations in the form of grants from foundations, government and others; to support further analytical work on the effects of such grants on the subsequent financial trajectories of organisations; to underpin investigations of the extent to which third sector organisations are in receipt of contracts from public sector agencies; and to analyse the balance between public and private provision of welfare services.

The aim of this project is to provide comprehensive data on funding flows to third sector organisations in England. We exploit the growing body of data being made available on grant making to voluntary organisations, and on public procurement, to build resources which will allow researchers to improve understanding of the funding mix of third sector organisations. The resources we create will help third sector organisations and policy makers because it will improve their understanding of their environment, particularly funding opportunities and also potential competitors or collaborators. This means they will be able to better support their beneficiaries by, for example, targeting their services or co-operating with similar organisations. The data will meet administrative and research challenges facing the sector by providing a "spine" for the growing number of open data initiatives. This new data infrastructure will add new value to existing UK social science infrastructure, and will be able to be reused by academic and non-academic researchers (such as those working in government). This data will also help the Office for National Statistics as they work to improve coverage of non-profit organisations in the National Accounts (see letters of support). It is consistent with ESRC's strategic priorities such as a "Vibrant and fair society", in that it significantly enhances understanding of the resources of third sector organisations. Building on TSRC/NCVO's existing databases, generated by combining registers of charities and the Companies House register of companies, we have developed novel data sources for the third sector in the following way. 1. we will download local authority and clinical commissioning group (CCG) data for England, usually available from relevant authorities on a monthly basis; 2. match the CCG data to our existing third sector databases using string matching techniques, and make available the results; 3. match the local authority procurement data to the same databases; 4. capture listings of grants made by charitable funders to organisations in England, such as those lists of grant recipients collated by the "360 Giving"; initiative which is encouraging grant makers to open up data about who they fund but we will work with other major funders. Published data already includes several hundred thousand awards made to voluntary organisations. the sheer scale and ambition of this project is unprecedented anywhere in the world. it provides much greater granular data on relationships between public sector agencies and those from whom they are commissioning services than is possible anywhere else. The project represents an excellent example of a partnership between a strong academic research centre, TSRC, and a high-profile national voluntary organisation, NCVO, in which research is designed and developed with the needs of user and academic communities equally in mind.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 01 January 2004 - 01 June 2015
Dates of fieldwork: 01 August 2015 - 01 July 2016
Country: United Kingdom
Geography: England
Spatial units: Counties
Districts (Metropolitan)
Unitary Authorities (England)
Observation units: Organisations
Kind of data: Alpha-numeric
Method of data collection: Capturing of data from (i) local authority (ii) Clinical Commissioning Groups (iii) 360 Degree Giving websites, usually in the form of spreadsheets, one per month for public sector agencies, on an aggregated database in the case of the private funders in (iii).

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 07 June 2018
Latest edition: 07 June 2018 (minor amendments only)
Copyright: (TSRC) Third Sector Research Centre,
Access conditions: The Data Collection is available for download to users registered with the UK Data Service. Access to two data files containing named individuals are subject to the permission of the data owner or his/her nominee. Please email the contact person for this data collections collection to request permission to access the data, explaining your reason for wanting access to the data. Once permission is obtained, please forward this to the ReShare administrator.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: John Mohan, University of Birmingham


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