John Mohan joined the University of Birmingham in September 2013, where he is Professor of Social Policy and Deputy Director of the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) at the University of Birmingham. He has led the development of major databases on voluntary organisations for the UK – e.g. a panel dataset containing 20 years’ observations from the Charity commission for England and Wales, and the first comparative analysis of charities in Scotland, England and Wales.

He has conducted extensive work on volunteering – notably a UK analysis of the idea of the „civic core“, and of the relationship between social capital and volunteering. He also directs a programme of work on charity and social redistribution, funded by the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.

Relevant Publications

  • Clifford, D, Geyne Rajme, F, and Mohan, J. (2013) Variations between organisations and localities in government funding of third sector activity: Evidence from the National Survey of Third Sector Organisations in England. In: Urban Studies, 50(5), 959-976.
  • Mohan, J. (2012) Geographical foundations of the Big Society. In: Environment and Planning A, 44(5), 1121-1129.
  • McCulloch, A., Mohan, J., and Smith, P. (2012) Patterns of social capital, voluntary activity, and area deprivation in England. In: Environment and Planning A, 44(5), 1130-1147.
  • Mohan, J. (2012) Entering the lists: what can we learn about the voluntary sector in England from listings produced by local infrastructure bodies? In: Voluntary Sector Review, 3(2), 197-215.


Third Sector Research Centre
The Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) aims to enhance our knowledge of the sector through independent and critical research, giving us a better understanding of the value of the sector and how this can be maximised. We work closely with practitioners, policy makers, and other academics to gain input into our research and explore its findings. We had core funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Barrow Cadbury Trust and the Cabinet Office, 2008-2014, and are seeking to continue in operation with funding from a range of sources.
Role: Deputy Director, with specific responsibilities for overseeing TSRC’s work on data resource construction and analyses of quantitative data.

Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (2009-13)
I led a programme of work on the theme of charity and social redistribution, along with colleagues at University of Kent. This was a mixed methods programme of work, with quantitative and qualitative research strands, considering questions such as the relationship between the expenditures of charities and local patterns of need, the ethical frameworks which underpin decisions to donate, and the connections between donors and recipients.—kent-southampton.html
Role: director of ‚spoke 2‘ of this initiative

Continuity and Change in Volunteering (1981-2013)
The ‘Continuity and Change in Volunteering’ is a mixed-methods research project which explores individual attitudes and behaviours towards volunteering, and individual views on the role and responsibility of the state towards provision for social need, across a period of thirty years. The timeframe (1981-2012) encompasses two periods of austerity, and a period of relative prosperity, thus providing economic and social policy context to our understanding of voluntarism during this period, and uncovering dynamics that may be pertinent to understanding volunteering into the future.
Role: Coinvestigator – responsible for analysis of quantitative data and for analyses of trends in policy towards the voluntary sector over this period.

Northern Rock Foundation Third Sector Trends Research Study
This was an investigation into the distribution and characteristics of voluntary organisations in North East England and Cumbria. I led a team at the University of Southampton and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Our contribution was largely quantitative, analysing statistics on organisations, their finances and volunteers.