Progressive, Proportionate and Preventative

Celebrating 10 Years of OSCR

Does my organisation meet the charity test?

The charity test is the legal set of requirements that an organisation must pass to become a charity and be entered in the Scottish Charity Register. The charity test is in two main parts:

  1. an organisation has to show that it has only charitable purposes and
  2. that it provides public benefit in achieving those purposes

Public benefit is what your organisation must provide to satisfy the Charity Test. We will need to be satisfied that your organisation will make a positive difference for the public.

The charity test also states that an organisation cannot become a charity, or continue to be one, if:

  • it is set up to be or advance a political party
  • its governing document allows it to use its assets (cash or property) for non charitable purposes
  • its governing document allows Scottish Ministers to direct or control its activities.

Our Meeting the Charity Test full guidance and Being a Charity in Scotland guidance provide further information on the charity test and what's required.