Nine per cent of Scottish charities account for 90 per cent of sector income in the country

Scottish charities with an income of more than £500,000 account for 92 per cent of the total income of all charities in the country, according to new research. 

The findings of Scottish Charities 2021, published by the Scottish Charity Regulator, sets out the current state of the country’s charity sector, which has a total income of more than £13bn.

Large charities with an annual income of more than £500,000 comprise only nine per cent of those on the register, but account for most of the sector's total income. 

Larger charities registered only in Scotland received 92 per cent of the income, rising to 96 per cent with the inclusion of charities that are also registered in England and Wales, according to the report. 

There are 25,199 charities on the register, including 1,179 cross-border charities.

The majority of charities in Scotland have an income of less than £25,000 a year, with more than one-third reporting an income of less than £10,000.

Positively, trust in the sector is on the up. 

Two-thirds of the public feels that the charity sector is as trustworthy, or more trustworthy, than it was two years ago, with public trust in Scottish charities at its highest levels since the OSCR began to measure it in 2009.

Other key findings from the research, which was conducted in February this year, revealed that two-thirds of Scotland’s 25,000 registered charities are run entirely by volunteers.

Charities in Scotland also employ over 200,000 staff.

The research also shows that the key aims of Scottish charities are to advance education (51 per cent), followed by promoting community development and giving relief to those in need.

The most popular beneficiaries of charitable work in Scotland are children or young people (47 per cent), followed by people with disabilities and older people.

The OSCR’s chief executive, Maureen Mallon, said: “Charities are the cornerstone of a strong society and a flourishing economy. That’s why we’ve published Scottish Charities 2021, so that we can ensure that everyone in Scotland is aware of the scale, scope and contribution that charities make to our national fabric.

“We already know that public trust in Scottish charities is at the highest level since OSCR began to measure this in 2009. 

“We hope by publishing a range of data and insights into the sector we can continue to build public confidence and ensure that policy-makers and planners can make informed decisions in future. 

“We want to continue to build public confidence in charities and allow these vital organisations to thrive and cement their place at the heart of our day-to-day life.”

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