This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.


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.

Benefits of becoming a charity

There are benefits of becoming a charity. There are also specific accountabilities and things you’ll need to do.


  • Tax relief on surpluses and donations
  • Rates relief for premises
  • Special VAT concessions
  • Access to funding only available to charities
  • Increased public trust

Things you need to do as a charity

  • Have a governing document or constitution
  • Report to OSCR every year on your:
    • Annual accounts
    • Trustees’ Annual Report
    • External scrutiny report
    • Online annual return.
  • Publicise your charitable status
  • Tell OSCR about any serious incidents that may affect your charity.
  • Be accountable to the public – any member of the public can ask for a copy of your constitution or annual reports and accounts.
  • Plan how you’ll fund your activities.
  • Make sure you follow other legal requirements.

"We're all working class (working poor is maybe more precise!) and have a range of socio-economic backgrounds including care experience, rural poverty, child poverty, homelessness, benefit systems, union and rights, mental and physical health concerns. None of us come from a background of charitable work.

 I think this gives us a really strong foothold on what is important when offering support to our community because we know how to centre dignity through empathy. We've been lucky to made friends, seek support, and be uplifted by some other local charitable groups who have mentored us, been vocal champions and welcomed us into the Perth and Kinross network."

Rachael Esdale, Social Flock Perth
Last modified on 2 September 2022
Was this page helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!