At this start of 2018, the third sector was rocked by a fall in public trust and damning headlines of unacceptable charity failures.

In reality, public trust in charities is still high in Scotland – 73% of those questioned in an SCVO survey in November 2017 strongly or tended to agree that charities are trustworthy.

And while poor practice should be weeded out wherever it exists, we also know that the vast majority of Scottish charities are well run.

But trust is fragile, and there was a need to act to protect the reputations of those charities that are well run and do amazing work.

We are also living in the #metoo generation where, quite rightly, people’s expectations of how they should be treated and how others should behave has changed. And people are publically calling out bad behaviour when they see it – whether it’s by individuals or organisations.

As a sector that embraces human rights and campaigns for equality, we should celebrate and embrace this cultural shift, not fear it.

So, at SCVO, we took the bull by the horns and launched the ‘I Love Charity’ campaign in February to inspire trust in charities.

We had two main aims:

  • To support good governance within organisations to ensure they are well run, open and transparent
  • To encourage charities to work harder at promoting the positive impact of their work.

Since then, we have worked with the sector to understand how best to achieve these aims.

In March we surveyed the sector to ask what the challenges are to achieving the aims and what SCVO could do to help. And in April, we partnered with OSCR to hold a roundtable event, specifically focusing on safeguarding.

We’ve now created a 12-month programme of practical support based on all the feedback we received. It includes plans for materials, resources, networks and events, all designed to support the sector to be the best it can be. It is also underpinned by ongoing SCVO work.

In the coming months, we’ll release more detail about the programme and keep you posted on opportunities to get involved. Keep an eye on the I Love Charity campaign page on our website and @scvotweet to find out more.