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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Professor Tony Chapman

Chapman, Tony (2017). The Propensity of Third Sector Organisations to Borrow Money in the UK. Policy Studies 38(2): 185-204.

Author(s) from Durham


In recent years there has been much policy interest in the development of social investment initiatives. Many such proposals depend upon third sector organisations (TSOs) loaning working capital in order to bridge gaps in cash flow. Existing studies on the willingness of TSOs to borrow have tended to used selective samples, which may have led to an exaggeration of market demand. This article explores, with reference to robust evidence on the attitudes and behaviours of representative samples of TSOs from the Third Sector Trends Study in Northern England, the extent of interest in borrowing for a range of purposes including to buy or upgrade property, buy equipment or facilities, or borrow working capital. The article makes observations on current and future market demand for loans in light of the way that TSO leaders’ balance their dependence on given, earned and borrowed money.