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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.

SCVO response to 2023/24 Programme for Government

Responding to Tuesday’s Programme for Government, Anna Fowlie, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' (SCVO) Chief Executive, said:  

“The First Minister has today set out a Programme for Government (PfG) which outlines priorities for Scotland which voluntary organisations working in and for communities have welcomed. While the PfG recognises the contribution voluntary organisations make across different portfolios, it doesn’t move far or fast enough to address fundamental changes to the operating environment that would recognise the vital role of Scotland’s voluntary sector in delivering on government priorities. 

“Today’s PfG restates the Scottish Government’s commitment to Fairer Funding for the voluntary sector, which we welcome. The Scottish Government's current poor grant-making practice makes the focus on improving the clarity and consistency of existing approaches very important, but we must continue to work together to support the sector to be financially sustainable.  To secure the future of the invaluable work our sector delivers, we must not only address disappointing practice, but also implement the longer-term improvements that are so desperately needed. 

“We can’t forget that an on-paper commitment to Fairer Funding was made by ministers earlier this year. It is disappointing that progress on this commitment has been so slow. Today’s announcement commits to developing a plan, when urgent action is needed. Our long-term work on Fair Funding provides clear recommendations, based on the sector’s experiences, and a clear blueprint for next steps. 

“The PfG’s firm commitment to taking forward a wider review of charity law is also welcome, particularly the commitment to work alongside the sector. It is important that the review is comprehensive and independent and doesn’t shy away from fundamental issues. We need a holistic approach to regulating the voluntary sector that supports the role of modern charities. 

“With charities experiencing growing frustration at the funding relationship with the Scottish Government and the impact this is having on organisations, staff, volunteers, and the services and support they offer, we had hoped for more action and urgency. The steps outlined will move us in the right direction, albeit slowly, and we will of course work with the Scottish Government to ensure that they do so in the ways that make the biggest difference to voluntary organisations across Scotland, supporting the invaluable contribution they make to Scotland’s economy and society.” 

Last modified on 27 February 2024