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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.

Could you help shape the future of fundraising?

This opinion piece is almost 3 years old

There are over 25,000 charities in Scotland! And the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel oversees the enhanced self-regulation of fundraising for these charities. We’re responsible for maintaining fundraising standards in Scotland and the adjudication of fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities.

How did we get here?

In 2015 a review of fundraising regulation in Scotland was carried out by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). After an extensive consultation with stakeholders the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland (“the Panel”) was established in December 2016.

The system of enhanced self-regulation in Scotland uses a 3-stage complaints process, where members of the public are encouraged to raise concerns with the charity in the first instance. At stage two complainants are asked to raise the issue with the charity’s trustees.  Where these steps are taken but do not result in a satisfactory conclusion, the Panel may then evaluate the complaint against the Code of Fundraising Practice and adjudicate on whether the code has been breached.

In addition to adjudicating complaints which cannot be resolved directly with the charity, the Panel launched the Fundraising Guarantee; a logo to be used by Scottish registered charities to show they are committed to good fundraising practice.

Five years on

2021 sees the Panel in their 5th year of the system of enhanced self-regulation with independent Panel.

In the last 5 years the Panel has implemented memorandums of Understanding with OSCR, the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising; we’ve assisted and contributed to a range of issues including consultations on the Code of Fundraising Practice; had over 260 registrations for the Fundraising Guarantee and we’ve worked closely with organisations throughout the third sector.

Kirsty Connell-Skinner, Vice Chair of the Panel said “The Panel have gone from strength to strength since our inception and I know there will be much more to come in the future. By and large fundraising in Scotland is held in high regard but is not immune from criticism.”

“The Panel have undergone several developments recently; of note is the transition from a part-time secretariat to a full-time Marketing and Administration Assistant last November and we have some exciting developments to share in the very near future.”

“If the past fifteen months have demonstrated anything it is that Scotland’s charity sector is a vital component of society. The impact of charities in communities across Scotland cannot be understated, which is why trust in charity fundraising continues to be essential and where that goes amiss is where we come in.”

Who are the Panel?

The Panel is made up of volunteers who bring an understanding of the main aspects of fundraising with experience in large charities, cross-border charities, volunteer community fundraising, Higher Education and charity law.

We currently have 6 active members of the Panel

  • Valerie Surgenor - A partner at a leading Scottish law firm where she heads up their Charities and Third Sector Practice.
  • Katie Bruce – A Corporate Partnerships Manager in Scotland for a National Children’s Charity.  
  • Kirsty Connell-Skinner - A Senior Development Executive for a Scottish University
  • Annemarie Devlin - A Fundraising Consultant with a national Philanthropy & Fundraising consultancy.
  • Zoë Barbour - A Trusts & Grants Manager for a Chartered National charity.
  • Gillian Mackay – A Policy Officer at an intergovernmental organisation.

We are keen to hear from others who would like to join us and help contribute to the Panel’s strategic thinking and are as committed and passionate, about supporting self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland, as we are.

If this sounds like you, please visit: to find out more and apply. Or Email: