One of the biggest barriers of TSOs in Austria stems from a lack of financial resources. During TSI’s empirical investigation TSOs reported a lack of public funding and private donations as well as decreasing profit margins from business activities. As a result, there is an ongoing trend towards the marketization of TSOs and a continuous process of professionalization, which is potentially suppressing their social impact and civic mission.

As work requirements increased while salaries stagnated in several fields, the attractiveness of TSO-employers partly declined. Working conditions of employees are often precarious and atypical. Furthermore, there is a lack of volunteers. As voluntary engagement becomes more short-term oriented and flexible, TSOs face a challenge to keep volunteers committed.

Ruth Simsa formulated recommendations for both policy makers and third sector organisations on how to alleviate negative impacts of new pressures and challenges for third sector development. For more background reading, refer to the national report on third sector barriers in Austria.