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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.

Wave Four Findings — Summer 2022

he findings from the fourth wave of the Scottish Third Sector Tracker are available now.

Key findings — summary report

The wave 4 summary report presented key insights into Scotland’s third sector. The report covers challenges, risings costs and the impacts on organisations and their beneficiaries, staffing and volunteering, financial health, and funding.

Particularly evident in this report was the increased prevalence of staffing issues and shortages, volunteer shortages and financial challenges in the third sector. Organisations had seen costs rise across all areas of business, and approximately one third of respondents made use of financial reserves between April and August 2022.

Further, many organisations reported concern about the impacts of the cost of living crisis on their beneficiaries, and in open responses gave insights into issues relating to mental health and wellbeing, rising food and energy costs, and increasing hardship and vulnerability in the communities they serve.

Short term funding was found to be dominant, and respondents described the challenges such agreements create for planning for the future and employment. Behind securing funding for core activities, multi-year funding agreements was respondents’ second most frequently reported fair funding priority.

Download the report here - Summary report

Key findings — infographic summary

The findings from the fourth wave of the Scottish Third Sector Tracker showed the impact of rising costs becoming increasingly apparent, both for third sector organisations and the communities they work with. Overall, 93% of organisations said they were experiencing rising costs in at least one area of their business, compared with 86% in April.

Organisations reported sharp rises in costs across almost all operating areas. The most pressing being the cost of materials and supplies (76% of the sector); transport costs (61% of the sector); energy costs (50% of the sector) and staffing costs (43% of the sector). Of organisations seeing rising costs, 43% felt this was having a negative impact on their ability to deliver their core services or activities.

To mitigate these impacts, 40% of organisations had applied for funding from new funders and one in three had used their financial reserves. One in ten had to reduce their services or work.

Almost 80% of organisations reported they were seeing increasing financial hardship in the groups and communities they work with and 64% of organisations considered that demand for their services had increased, with 23% saying that demand had significantly increased. The majority (80%) of those organisations seeing an increase in demand for their services were able to meet most or all of that demand.

Rising costs were not the only challenge third sector organisations reporting facing in the three months since April, with 72% reporting shortages and issues with staffing and volunteers and one in three difficulty planning for the future.

Only one quarter of organisations reported being able to award staff a pay rise since April, typically a rise of between three and five percent.

Infographic summary

Data tables

The weighted and raw data is available in the data tables. The data tables allow you to disaggregate the findings by organisation size (turnover); geographic location; type of organisation (e.g. Social Enterprise) and many other variables.

Data tables

Last modified on 24 May 2024
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