Scotland has around 24,000 charities of different sizes and wide-ranging purposes, including community groups, religious charities, schools, universities and care providers. Many people give their money and time generously to help charities, which play a valuable role in enhancing life in our communities and beyond. Particularly important are the tens of thousands of trustees who, on a voluntary basis (with some exceptions), sit on the boards and committees that run these charities. It is a highly responsible and essential role, very demanding both in terms of the time and the energy required.
To be a Scottish charity, organisations must first meet the ‘Charity Test’ and then comply with on-going responsibilities, including reporting annually to OSCR. Our ‘Being a charity in Scotland’ guidance explains a charity’s duties in more detail.
Every Scottish charity has an entry in the Scottish Charity Register, a free resource maintained by OSCR that provides a varying amount of information on an organisation depending on its income.
Under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005(the 2005 Act), all organisations that represent themselves as charities in Scotland must register with OSCR. This includes bodies that are established and/or registered as charities in other legal jurisdictions, such as England and Wales. The 2005 Act provides some exceptions where a cross-border charity represents itself as a charity but does not have substantive activity in Scotland. More information on cross-border charities can be found here.
To help Elected Members see what charities operate in their constituencies, we have created this Constituency Map. This map can be filtered in a variety of ways. For example, you can filter the map to only show charities that are in a specific area, ward or constituency that are set up to help specific beneficiaries. To use the filters, choose the 'Charity Register' or 'Charity Map' tabs and select from the drop down list from the blue 'Filter' box.
You can also click on a charity’s location to find basic information and a link to its entry on the register.