Historically, voluntary associations and popular movements have played an important role in the making of the Scandinavian democracies and welfare states (Klausen and Selle 1996). Within the welfare fields, a remarkable upsurge of interest in these institutions has been observable since the early 1980s in many European welfare states. Growing scepticism and criticism of state and professional monopoly in the welfare fields, together with mounting concerns over ‘new’ social problems like social exclusion, have paved the way for more ‘ideological space’ for voluntary organizations. A strong political consensus that ageing populations and globalization set limits to taxation (Goul Andersen 2006) has also been central to the argument that alternative partners will be needed in social policy in future. Even in social-democratic welfare states like the Scandinavian, strong public and political trust in the voluntary or non-profit sector as a partner in a ‘new welfare mix’ has been voiced over the last 15-20 years. In Denmark this has been evident in symbolic political expressions such as a ‘charter for the mutual cooperation between associations and government’ in 2001, as well as in changes in various laws and legal frameworks, e.g. the ‘Social Services Act’ of 1998, in which it was made compulsory for local government to cooperate with voluntary social organizations.