Based on responses from 52 network participants (out of a total 147 surveyed), we found that our network is young and growing fast, as nearly half of respondents were incorporated on the 2000s. We also found that older organizations are larger, provide more services, and engage in more advocacy and research. This may be due to the need for newer organizations to expend time and resources with more basic tasks, or it may suggest that advocacy and research require a more established structure.
We asked a comprehensive list of questions across these areas:
- Contact Institution (mission, reports, etc.)
- Membership (number and type of members, clients in the case of support organisations, and fees and services)
- Finances (budget, assets, income and auditing)
- Governance (staff and board)
- Knowledge and Information (research, data collection and issues their members—foundations—work on)
Fifteen out of 36 organisations reported that they provide services in the following areas:
- Training for board members and staff
- Advice services for members
- Conferences and seminars
- Information services
There is room for further investigation into an "optimal” combination of services, and whether there are development processes at work by which organisations first provide basic services before gradually adding others as they reach a certain size and/or level of sophistication.
The next five years will be crucial for us to determine whether the sector will continue to grow or if it will reach a saturation point. There are some gaps in our research. For example, financial data from associations and support organisations, as well as specific information on the issue areas foundations work on, is still weak. WINGS will continue to gather and analyse as much data as possible, but for a more complete picture of our network we need more information and the full cooperation of WINGS network participants going forward.