Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) support

Definition of the Third Sector

The third sector includes a very diverse range of organisations including some or all of the following components:

  • Voluntary organisations
  • Community groups
  • Tenants and residents groups
  • Faith groups
  • Housing Associations
  • Most co-operatives and social enterprises (provided profits are retained for the benefit of the members or community served)
  • Most sports organisations
  • Grant making trusts
  • Private clubs

Organisations can take a variety of forms including one or more of the following:

  • Mutuals
  • Community interest companies
  • Industrial and provident societies
  • Not for profit trade associations
  • Charitable trusts
  • Companies limited by guarantee
  • Unincorporated groups

Sandwell council has adopted a definiton of the third sector that helps to clarify what types of organisation will be eligible for grants:

Sandwell council's definition of the third sector