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Being a Charity in Scotland

Published: 20/02/2017
Updated: 20/02/2017

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Being a charity in Scotland

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.

Download the full PDF version of the Guidance or browse individual sections.

Download the Print friendly version (no graphics). 

Download the Print friendly version (with graphics).

Download the large print version here (point 18 font).

Top 10 Key Points to Running a Charity Properly

We have also created a number of videos which you'll find useful: Top 10 key points to running a charity properly; The role of the charity trustee; Advice for first time charity trustees; and What is the best thing about being a charity trustee?


What this Guide covers

This Guide covers the two main areas of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act)

Being a Charity in Scotland - 2 

This Guide sets out the key points charities need to know about the 2005 Act. It is not a detailed guide to all the requirements of charity law. Throughout the Guide there are links to specific guidance on our website and details of other organisations that can give help and advice to charities.  

Who is this Guide for?

This Guide is for:

  • charity trustees of existing charities or people working in charities, especially smaller ones
  • people who want to set up a charity
  • professionals who advise charities and organisations that want to become charities.


Sources of help and advice

OSCR publishes general guidance for charities, but we can’t provide specific advice on the full range of things which can happen in or affect your charity.

These organisations can help with some or all of the areas set out in the Guide and more: