who we are
What we're all about
what we can do for the media
What we do for the media
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Connecting you with our members

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. We have more than 1,500 members who range from individuals and grassroots groups to Scotland-wide organisations. Through lobbying and campaigning, SCVO advances the interests of our members and the people and communities that they support.

We can provide case studies across Scotland and contribute opinion pieces on current news. SCVO can also supply statistics on a range of third sector issues.

SCVO can put you in touch with our members who can provide authoritative comment and case studies on a wide range of issues from the environment and tackling poverty to supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues.


Media releases

Scotland’s charities fear Brexit economic shock

SCVO media release 6 February 2017 86% of Scotland’s charities fear Brexit economic shock Charities in Scotland are warning that Brexit could have a severe impact on their survival, with further negative effects on their ability to help the people they support. The stark findings come from a recent survey of over 400 charities and […]

8th Feb, 2017

Independent experts to oversee charity fundraising in Scotland

SCVO media release 8 December 2016 The Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group has announced the members of the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland, which will oversee fundraising standards and fundraising complaints about charities registered in Scotland. The panel will be chaired by Alison Elliot, Associate Director of the Centre for Theology and Public […]

8th Dec, 2016

SCVO joins forces with partners across the UK to give people the tools to make government more open & responsive to their needs

Monday 5 December 2016 SCVO media release The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) in partnership with the Wales Council for Voluntary Organisations (WCVA), Involve, and Northern Ireland Environment Link has been awarded a £500k Big Lottery Fund grant to support more people to take part in the decisions that will shape their future. The […]

5th Dec, 2016

Autumn Statement offers little hope to people supported by Scotland’s charities and voluntary organisations

On 23 November 2016, the UK Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his autumn statement to the UK Parliament. Commenting on the statement, SCVO Director of Public Affairs, John Downie, said: This budget offers little hope to the people that Scotland’s charities and voluntary organisations support, and comes from a Government that is clearly fully committed to […]

23rd Nov, 2016

Scottish Fundraising Working Group recommends that charities in Scotland do not use Fundraising Preference Service

SCVO media release 10 November 2016 The Scottish Fundraising Working Group is recommending to charities in Scotland that they do not need to screen against the FPS. Chair of the Group and Partner at MacRoberts LLP, Val Surgenor, said: “The Scottish Fundraising Working Group’s consultation highlighted that charities in Scotland were not convinced that the Fundraising […]

11th Nov, 2016

Charity leaders urged to catch up with the digital revolution to help people

SCVO media release 2 November 2016 Leaders from right across Scotland’s charities and third sector organisations have come together with a rallying call for all charities in Scotland to commit to seize the opportunities presented by new technology and the internet. Over the last six months, the 19 leaders have working together to develop their […]

2nd Nov, 2016

New fundraising complaints line opens to safeguard fundraising standards in Scotland

SCVO media release 7 July 2016 A new free-phone fundraising complaints line and website has gone live to assist members of the public wishing to make a complaint about charity fundraising in Scotland. Scottish Fundraising Complaints, which has been set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish charity regulator OSCR, will […]

7th Jul, 2016

Charity fundraising in Scotland to be improved with stronger self-regulation

SCVO media release 30 June 2016 An enhanced model for charity fundraising regulation in Scotland will see more responsibility placed on charities and the Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, to encourage good practice. The move follows an extensive period of consultation with the third sector and the public, led by the Scottish Fundraising Working Group which […]

30th Jun, 2016

Scottish charity heroes honoured at national awards

SCVO media release 9 June 2016 Charities and people right across Scotland have been celebrated for the life-changing difference they make at the 2016 Scottish Charity Awards, which took place at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on 9 June. Shulah Allan, Convener of Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), which organises the awards, said: “I’m in […]

9th Jun, 2016

Scottish Charity Awards finalists revealed

SCVO media release 2 May 2016 Charities and volunteers right across Scotland have been named as finalists in the Scottish Charity Awards. Organised by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Awards, which are free to enter, celebrate the life-changing work of charities, community groups and individuals dedicated to making Scotland a better place to […]

2nd May, 2016



Key people


Sector stats


Martin SImeMartin Sime | chief executive

Martin is a well-known commentator on public affairs in Scotland.  He was an Expert Advisor to the Christie Commission on public service reform and works closely with the Scottish Government at all levels to advance the interests of the third sector.
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Lucy McTernanLucy McTernan | deputy chief executive

Lucy has a wealth of experience in Scotland's third sector. She has worked for SCVO for over 18 years and is a member of the Scotland committee of the Big Lottery Fund.
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John DOwnieJohn Downie | director of public affairs

John joined SCVO in 2010, after four years as a Business Strategy and Communications Consultant. He chairs the social enterprise, Impact Arts. John can share insight into a wide range of issues affecting people and communities across Scotland.
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Donna MackinnonDonna Mackinnon | director employment services

Donna leads SCVO’s employability programmes and provides strategic guidance to the Directorate and Board on SCVO’s ongoing and future engagement in the employability agenda. She can provide authoritative comment on youth unemployment issues.
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David McNeillDavid McNeill | director of digital

David leads on SCVO's digital work, guiding the development of new and existing web platforms, engaging online audiences, and co-ordinating our wide-ranging digital participation agenda for the third sector in Scotland.
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Infographic: 45,000 voluntary organisations; £4.5 billion annual income; £8.6 billion assets; 138,000 staff; equivalent to 83,350 full time staff