Scottish charities lost £96m in 2009/10, research reveals

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations publishes data alongside new State of the Sector report that finds a quarter of charities north of the border have reduced in size

Charities in Scotland lost £96m in income in 2009/10, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has estimated.

The figure is based on data submitted by charities to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, the Scottish Housing Regulator and the Financial Services Authority, covering the year to March 2010.

An SCVO spokeswoman said the research was carried out in March 2011 but had not previously been made public. She was unable to provide further details on how the research was carried out or how many charities were surveyed.

The figure has been published alongside the SCVO’s new State of the Sector survey today. The report, based on a survey of 275 charities in Scotland that was carried out this month, shows 25 per cent said they had reduced in size in the previous year and 40 per cent had used their reserves to keep services running.

Forty-five per cent of respondents said they thought the financial situation of their charity would worsen in the next 12 months, and 76 per cent expected demand for their services to increase in the same period.

Eighty-six per cent said their charity was planning to develop new income sources in the next year. Thirty per cent said they planned to join a new partnership or consortium in that period and 22 per cent said they planned to restructure.

Sixty-seven of the 88 charity chief executives that responded to the State of the Sector report said they were not planning to offer pay rises to staff this year.

Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO, said the Scottish government and public sector funders should offer longer-term funding agreements to bring more stability to the sector.

“Voluntary organisations need a new and better deal from the public sector which delivers on the high level of rhetorical support,” he said. “Local government in particular needs to start doing things differently.”