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Reorganisation of your charity

Charity reorganisation is a valuable tool for charities in Scotland to release unused funds back into the charity sector. It also allows charities that do not have the power to make changes to apply to us for the authority to do so.

This section sets out how to apply to us to reorganise your charity. To find out about reorganising a restricted fund, please read our Restricted Funds Reorganisation page.

A proposed reorganisation of a charity is called a reorganisation scheme.

Charity reorganisation schemes

There are three types of charity reorganisation scheme.

  1. A variation of the terms of your charity's constitution (whether or not in relation to its purposes).
  2. A transfer of your charity's property (after satisfaction of liabilities) to another charity (whether or not involving a change to the purposes of the other charity).
  3. An amalgamation of your charity with another charity.  You can find more information about this on our Amalgamating Your Charity page.

The timescale for reorganisation applications depends on the size of the charity, as charity law gives us the discretion to treat smaller charities in a simpler way according to the following thresholds:

  • 'large charity' means a charity with a gross annual income of £250,000 or more
  • 'small charity' means a charity with a gross annual income of less than £250,000: and
  • 'very small charity' means a small charity whose assets do not include any heritable property or shares in a private limited company, and with a gross annual income of less than £1,000.

Applications to reorganise 'large' and 'small' charities take an average of 6 months to complete. You should allow for this when preparing your application.

For applications to reorganise 'very small' charities, OSCR must make a decision within 13 weeks of receiving the application.

Charity trustees of charities registered in Scotland can apply to OSCR to have a charity reorganisation scheme approved.

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Please return the completed form and any documentation to info@oscr.org.uk.

Some categories of charities cannot use the reorganisation process. This includes some (but not all) charities whose constitution is an Act of Parliament, a Royal Warrant or an Order of the Privy Council (a 'statutory enactment'). 

Where the trustees of a charity constituted by a statutory enactment are unclear whether they can do so, we would recommend that they seek appropriate professional advice.


To inform the public of what is proposed, an application summary will generally be published on the OSCR website. This summary of the application will be published on our website for between 28 and 42 days, depending on the nature of the proposed reorganisation scheme. The majority of summaries are published for 28 days only. However, OSCR has the discretion to apply a simplified procedure to applications from very small charities, in which case the proposed scheme will not be published.

Charities with an income of £250,000 (or more) must advertise in a newspaper or periodical as well as OSCR publishing a summary of their proposal.

A representation is a comment about a proposed reorganisation that can either support or oppose the proposal. Read our How to Make a Representation page to find out how you can make a representation in relation to a proposed charity reorganisation.

OSCR can either approve or refuse a charity reorganisation scheme. If OSCR approves a scheme, the charity's trustees are responsible for the reorganisation of the charity and must notify OSCR when the charity's reorganisation is complete.

If OSCR refuses a scheme, the charity's trustees can ask for this decision to be reviewed by someone not involved in the original decision.

If the charity is dissatisfied with the review decision, the charity can appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, then to the Upper Tribunal for Scotland and ultimately to the Court of Session.