Third sector capacity building: the institutional embeddedness of supply

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Sheffield Hallam University


Previous articles in Voluntary Sector Review have documented the evolution of third sector capacity-building policy (Macmillan, 2011) and addressed the focus on ‘market-making’, characterised by a discursive shift since 2010 that favours demand-led over supply-led delivery models (Macmillan, 2013). This article builds on these articles by using data from the National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises (NSCSE) to investigate the characteristics of third sector organisations on the supply side of the capacity-building ‘market’. We argue that the ambitions of the demand-led model need to be understood in the context of the embeddedness of these organisations. This is based on findings that suggests that, immediately prior to the identified discursive shift, a significant proportion of third sector capacity-building providers were embedded in the supply-led model through relationships with and funding from the public sector locally and nationally. This, we suggest, could thwart the ambitions of the demand-led model.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-168
Number of pages20
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number2
Early online date17 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017


  • capacity building, marketisation, third sector, embeddedness