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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Cost of living: Scottish charities having to cut services


Organisations in Scotland struggling more than rest of UK

More than a third of Scottish charities report they have had to made cuts to services and do not have room to cut any further. 

The finding that 35% of orgainsations are struggling to get by, published in new research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), is significantly higher than the fifth (20%) of English charities who feel the same.

CAF has published new research with 621 charities, including more than 130 Scottish charity leaders. 

Charities that survived the difficult winter continue to struggle to meet costs and provide for those that need them as the UK’s economic outlook seems uncertain.

Scottish organisations are stretched, with nearly three in five (56%) charities in Scotland worried about struggling to survive, compared to just under two in five in England (38%). 

While coping with the difficult economic climate, three in five (60%) Scottish charities reported reviewing their organisation’s reserves policy, compared to half (47%) in England.

Staffing is emerging as a major issue for many charities. Across the UK, around half (53%) say they can afford their current staffing levels, while three in five (60%) are struggling to recruit or retain suitably qualified candidates or volunteers. 

Scottish organisations are more likely to ask funders to help with increased costs than in England (52% compared to 39%), and to pay for staff salary increases (35% in Scotland compared to 18% in England).

Neil Heslop OBE, chief executive of the CAF, said: “Charities are still feeling stretched. They are worried about recruiting staff and struggling to meet demand for their help. 

“Like the rest of us, they are having to adjust to inflation being higher – but they face the added challenge of people needing them more than ever, while donors’ incomes are squeezed.

“Britain can’t afford to have charities facing such uncertainty. We need a resilient, vibrant charities sector supported by a renewed culture of giving. 

“That is why we need for the Government to draw up a UK strategy for philanthropy and charitable giving to mobilise effort across society and business.”



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