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

Third sector believe Scot Gov approach to employability services won’t work

Organisations believe Scottish Government approach to employability won’t help those in need, or get the best out of the third sector. At the Joined Up For Jobs (Ju4J’s) partnership forum meeting in Edinburgh today (Friday 26 May) SCVO will state their opposition to the approach being taken by the Scottish Government to devolved employability programmes. […]

26th May, 2017

How do we guarantee high quality social care in Scotland?

Views are being sought from the third sector in Scotland on the future of social care, following the launch of a discussion paper outlining financial concerns. A key focus for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the sustainability of the third sector in Scotland. Social care amounts to over a quarter of the […]

26th May, 2017

Scottish Charity Awards 2017 – Finalists Announced

The finalists for this year’s Scottish Charity Awards have been announced. Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the awards are open to any voluntary organisation, charity, community group or individual charity volunteer or staff member, and celebrate the life-changing work they do and their dedication to making Scotland a better place to […]

12th May, 2017

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


Eilidh Little

Could you be a Digital Pioneer?

25th May, 2017

Jackie Brock

Rights and protections must remain following Brexit

24th May, 2017

Iain Gordon

It’s all about relationships!

23rd May, 2017

Shulah Allan

The future of social care in Scotland

23rd May, 2017

Craig Wilson

SCVO: Le voyage à Bruxelles

22nd May, 2017

Lauren Pluss

Why are you voting in the Scottish Charity Awards?

18th May, 2017

Tracey Bird

Charity Tax Made Simple

17th May, 2017

Liam Beattie

HIV and human rights: an integral relationship

17th May, 2017

Mike Hall

Skyscanner return with more secrets to our success!

16th May, 2017

Craig Wilson

Local Election Tea Leaves

16th May, 2017


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