Research Into Bermuda’s Third Sector Released

March 13, 2021

The Centennial Bermuda Foundation released the findings of preliminary research into Bermuda’s Third Sector, indicating that “organisations want more information to be available so that they can better understand and meet the needs of the community, now and in the future.”

A spokesperson said, “The findings of preliminary research into Bermuda’s Third Sector have been released, indicating that organisations want more information to be available so that they can better understand and meet the needs of the community, now and in the future.

“One of the two reports released today is a review of relevant background research on third sector strengthening approaches and trends worldwide, involving more than 40 international studies. It suggests elements for an effective framework for Bermuda’s charities, non-profits, philanthropy and government stakeholders, if the third sector decides to develop in that direction.

“The second report released is the result of 26 hours of in-depth interviews with people working in the sector in Bermuda including non-profit service providers, government officials, foundations and private consultants. The results show an interest in shaping the way the Third Sector works together with more efficiencies, collaboration and shared resources. The study invited suggestions of how to develop and operate a ‘Reimagined Third Sector’ so that organisations benefit, and Bermuda’s community is served with a greater impact and with an emphasis on equitable outcomes.

“All Third Sector stakeholders are urged to participate in the next stage – quantitative survey.

“A third body of research for the Reimagining the Bermuda Third Sector initiative will test these findings with a wider audience using an online survey that all third sector stakeholders are encouraged to participate in. Sector stakeholders have been part of the process, supporting the researchers in the development of this survey. The project leaders want “transparency, engagement and continuous feedback, as it is critical to the success of the initiative.”

“The Third Sector Survey will be released on March 22nd, 2021 all Third Sector stakeholders interested in shaping the outcomes of the sector review can do so by completing the survey. Interested parties can click here to sign up to be sent the survey link, to ensure they are a part of the process. The link will also be available publicly on social media.

“The initial reports are available in full, links below, and the upcoming online survey will test the findings with a wider-reaching audience. This will collect views in agreement and against the suggestions to date. Stakeholders are invited to read both reports before completing the online survey.

“Results from the first two reports show an interest by Bermuda’s charities, non-profit organisations, foundations, donors, QUANGOs, private consultants and government officials to better understand the root causes of why particular needs exist.

Anand Dholakia, researcher and project co-leader, says, “COVID-19 has heightened awareness of the critical role the Third Sector plays as a social safety net which is vital to community wellbeing. The crisis has forced third sectors worldwide to address unprecedented challenges and operate in brand new ways. This global moment has raised an opportunity for the Bermuda Third Sector to transform how it approaches its purpose.”

“He says the research is an opportunity for the sector to build on its “history of self-improvement and to ‘reimagine’ what it looks like in the future, for example, to consider the infrastructure it needs to face existent, emerging and enduring social problems, revisit who sits at which tables and in which roles, question all assumptions, tackle the root causes of long-standing issues, pursue new ideas, address underlying power dynamics, and work together in new ways.”

Community Needs

“All stakeholders interviewed believe that understanding community needs is critical to addressing key issues, yet they currently rate the sector’s understanding as fair, indicating there is room to know more. The majority would like access to more data and easy to interpret databases, research reports and newsletters, available online.

Purpose of the Research

“The purpose of this research is to provide accurate information to Bermuda’s third sector to help stakeholders determine whether they are meeting the needs of the community, whether there is room for improvement in the way organisations work together and if there is opportunity to collaborate, network and share resources for the benefit of all.

“All third sector organisations are involved in determining whether a transformative third sector model is feasible for Bermuda and how it could be developed and who would lead the effort.

“The research phase of the Reimagining the Bermuda Third Sector initiative is funded by Centennial Bermuda Foundation and Bermuda Community Foundation with dedicated independent project leaders, Dr. Leslie Steede, Partner with Global Research and Anand Dholakia, Principal Associate with Community Science, managing the design, analysis, and conclusions. The research considers the views of all third sector stakeholder groups, which includes non-profit organisations, philanthropy and government working side-by-side as partners.”

Both reports are available at

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Comments (3)

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  1. sage says:

    How much does the third pillar’s framework of executives eat up, compared to the money that actually reaches those in whom name it was collected? Was this aspect researched?

  2. A Bermudian says:

    @Sage – programs and services have to be developed and delivered to those in need. That takes paid staff to do that. Staff that often has high levels of training and expertise. Programs can’t deliver themselves. So it is reasonable that some money goes to salaries in order for the nonprofits to operate and for the organization to meet its mission and serve the community.

  3. Atalz says:

    Bermuda may do well with a third sector if the third sector’s agenda/top priority were to achieve its goals for the cause it represents. Bermuda would not do well with a third sector if it were to follow the example of other countries whose priority appears to be achieving wealth for CEOs, executive employees, and consultants. How many cents per dollar would this third sector be dedicating to the actual people/causes they would be there to represent/support/assist?