In 2014, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, through its Cidadania Ativa Programme (2013-2016), commissioned a survey on the NGO Sector in Portugal. This study was drawn up by the Catholic University of Portugal with the aim of filling knowledge gaps on NGOs operating in Portugal.
Its main contributions are:
- defining an NGO based on economic concepts appropriate to this end and expressed in the form of a detailed description of the sectors of activities and of what NGOs and their legal statutes are believed to be;
- setting a database that is consistent with that concept and built specifically for that purpose from an existing one where all social economy organizations are included;
- describing the internal organization of NGOs with regard to governance and management, human resources, facilities, funding, networking and relationships with public entities. This description was based on an extensive nationwide survey conducted with 153 NGOs representing all the sectors of activities where NGOs operate; the latter was complemented by a smaller online survey conducted with 350 NGOs operating in the areas of Human Rights and Active Citizenship with a response rate of 20%; an econometric study of the factors influencing economic sustainability of IPSSs (social welfare entities); and 10 specific case studies on social NGOs and on NGOs operating in the sector of Human Rights and Active Citizenship.