SCVO media release

11 February 2016

Charities are being urged to take part in a consultation to decide upon the future of fundraising regulation in Scotland.

With the current UK-wide system of self-regulation about to change, Scottish charities need to design a system to make sure that the public can have trust and confidence in the work they do, and take action when things go wrong.

The consultation is being led by a working group chaired by Enable Scotland chief executive, Theresa Shearer, on behalf of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

She said, “The working group’s vision is a fundraising regulatory system in Scotland that: Commands confidence in charity fundraising, inspires public trust and promotes good fundraising. This is a crucially important issue for the whole of the charitable sector in Scotland. We need to come together to decide the best system of regulation for our donors and the people we support.”

The consultation invites charities to consider three possible models for regulation: a UK-wide option, a Scottish option or a hybrid.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said: “The Scottish Government values the contribution that the charitable sector makes to Scotland and its communities. The public expect the highest standards from our charities and public trust and confidence in the sector is what inspires people to donate their hard-earned money to good causes. I encourage everyone with a view to contribute to this timely consultation and I look forward to hearing the recommendations from the working group that take account of the public, the charity sector, donors and beneficiaries in due course.”

SCVO Director of Public Affairs, John Downie, commented: “This is a unique opportunity for the sector to take ownership over its own future, to show that it can and will work with the confidence of the Scottish public on its side. A failure to engage now may see the sector being subject to regulation plans for the rest of the UK, remotely administered from London, which could be complex, costly and may not have the intended end result of instilling trust in charities.”

Charities can contribute to the consultation by visiting the SCVO website and following the links to an online survey. Longer submissions are encouraged and should be sent by email.


Notes to editors:

  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations. For more on SCVO see
  1. People can respond to the consultation until 31 March 2016 by:

Completing an online survey at

Sending a written response to:

  1. The consultation follows the publication of an SCVO reportinto fundraising in Scotland. Published in August 2015, it gathered over 750 responses from third sector workers and members of the public. The report included several key principles, each recognising that the development any new system of fundraising regulation needs to suit the diverse nature of the charitable sector in Scotland.

A separate report entitled the Etherington Review was conducted by UK body the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

The SCVO report was followed in November 2015 by a summit held in Edinburgh and attended by around 150 professionals from across the third sector. This led to the formation of the Working Group which is leading on the new consultation. Views will later be sought from the public before a recommendation is made to the SCVO board, and from there to the Scottish Government.