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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

"Overlooked”: Voluntary sector body reacts to Scottish Government’s four-year spending plans for public services. 

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) has warned that third sector groups have been let down by a lack of multi-year funding commitments in today’s Spending Review.  

The national membership organisation for the voluntary sector in Scotland believes the Scottish Government’s spending plans fall massively short of what is urgently required by voluntary organisations across the country.   

SCVO, which has a community of over 3,000 members, has criticised the Scottish Government for what it calls a half-hearted spending review that makes no mention of how the Scottish Government will invest in charities, community groups, and social enterprises over the long-term.   

In its original response to the Scottish Government consultation on the Spending Review earlier this year, SCVO had called for it to be used to visibly address the disparities that have widened over many years between public services led by public bodies and those delivered by voluntary organisations. 

SCVO had made the case that fair, flexible, and accessible funding is a vital requirement for the voluntary sector, calling for multi-year funding with greater flexibility, in line with inflation. This would ensure that voluntary organisations are able to be secure and sustainable, forward plan effectively, generate successful outcomes, and realise the Scottish Government’s Fair Work principles. 

Kirsten Hogg, Head of Policy, Research and Campaigns at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said:  

“Today’s Scottish Government’s spending review falls massively short of the commitment to mainstreaming multi-year funding for voluntary organisations that we expected to see.  

“This four-year plan was the Scottish Government’s opportunity to make good on repeated commitments to longer term funding for the voluntary sector, so it is disappointing to see that it contains more warm words on the need for collaboration and partnership with the voluntary sector, yet next to no mention of the fair, long-term funding that voluntary organisations so desperately need.  

“It comes at a time when voluntary organisations are struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis and rapid inflation, with a doubling in the number of organisations telling SCVO that rising costs are a major challenge in recent months. A long-term commitment to fair funding for the sector is vitally needed, and the Scottish Government has missed the opportunity to give this through today’s announcement. 

“What this spending review lacks is any real detail that indicates the Scottish Government’s long-term support and commitment to Scotland’s voluntary sector and the vital services and programmes our organisations deliver as we move from one crisis to another, all the while looking to improve the wellbeing of people and communities across Scotland.”  


Notes to editors:   

SCVO’s response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the Resource Spending Review can be found at: SCVO consultation response to the Scottish Government's Resource Spending Review.   

Any enquiries should be directed to SCVO. For more information please contact

Last modified on 5 February 2024