Ninety per cent of Scottish voluntary organisations foresee no improvement

Ninety per cent of voluntary organisations in Scotland expect their own economic situation to worsen or stay the same over the next 12 months, according to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The SCVO, an umbrella body for not-for-profit organisations in Scotland, highlighted the figure last week in further analysis of its State of the Sector report, which it published last month.

The report said a quarter of organisations had reduced staff over the past year and 76 per cent expect demand for their services to increase.

“A clear clash is emerging between growing demand for services and a reduction in staff numbers, opening a gap that third sector organisations won’t be able to fill,” said Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO.

The survey is based on responses by 275 voluntary organisations in October.

The SCVO also published a Scottish Third Sector Key Statistics report last week, which shows Scotland’s voluntary sector income has stopped growing for the first time since 1998.

It revealed that income remained static at £4.4bn between 2009 and 2010. It had previously grown every year from £1.8bn in 1997/98.

“If we exclude housing associations from these figures, charities and voluntary organisations across Scotland have seen their income drop by £96m between 2009/10,” the report said.

The document, which is based on SCVO data of a weighted sample of 983 organisations and statistics filed with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, shows there are 45,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland employing 137,000 staff.