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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.

OSCR reveals impact of charities on economy

This news post is about 1 year old

Two thirds are run entirely by volunteers

Scotland’s registered charities are worth a stagging £15 billion, official data has revealed.

Statistics from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) as part of its annual overview show there are 25,247 registered organisations with a combined income of £14.8bn.

One in every 10 of these organisations default in submitting their annual accounts, OSCR’s report says.

More than half of charities (57%) have an annual income of £25,000 or less, with many of these – over 9,000 – having an income of no more than £5,000. 4% have an income of £1mn or more.

Around two-thirds of charities are entirely run by volunteers, including their trustees.

Some 209,601 people are employed as paid staff by Scottish charities.

The data also shows that there are an estimated 180,000 trustees of charities on the Scottish charity register, with charities having an average of seven.

The sector continues to grow, although the OSCR says the rate of increase slowed in 2021 and 2022 while the number of charities removed from the register rose. In total, 673 Scottish charities registered in 2022, along with 49 cross border charities. 648 were removed, along with 29 cross border charities.

Most of the data in the Sector Overview Report comes from charities that have used OSCR Online to submit an online annual return. Previously, the report was published every two years, but as part of a commitment by OSCR to promote and improve transparency, the Sector Overview have moved to an online platform and it will now be updated quarterly.

OSCR’s Chief Executive, Maureen Mallon, said: “Knowing the scale and scope of the charity sector, and what issues are challenging charities in Scotland, helps inform the decision making of OSCR, governments and other stakeholders.

“The report is a great resource for anyone seeking general information about the Scottish charity sector. In time, the data will also help us understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost crisis on charities and how charities adapt.

“The new dynamic format of our Sector Overview Report allows us to share this vital information more frequently and automates some of our internal processes so our resources can be used in other ways.”