SCVO media release

New figures show vital role third sector plays in Scotland

New figures released today (Wednesday 19 February) by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) show that the third sector’s turnover has grown to £4.9bn, having doubled over the last decade and risen by £300million in 2013. Spending by charities has also doubled in the last 10 years to reach an all-time high of £4.7bn.

John Downie, Director of Public Affairs, SCVO said:

“The third sector is growing and spending more than ever to help people bearing the brunt of a bleak economy, public funding cuts and growing poverty and inequality.

“We clearly have a strong third sector in Scotland, which is taking on an even more vital role in society and has the confidence to invest in innovative approaches to tackling Scotland’s biggest social challenges.

“Larger charities and foundations are seeing the majority of income growth, while average growth across the sector stands at 0.8% despite a tough economic climate.

“42% of charities are spending more than they earn because they are investing to meet increased demand for their services and plan for the future. As hundreds of charities gather at the SECC today for the 10th annual Gathering, our call is for more investment in the third sector, so that it can change the lives of even more vulnerable people.”


  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the national body representing the interests of 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 
  2. Full details about the Gathering, including events listings are available HERE