Scottish charities' total income was £20.8bn in the year to March 2014

Figures from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator show that the total has risen by £12m in the past seven years

Office of the Scottish Charity
Office of the Scottish Charity

The total gross annual income for Scottish charities increased from £8.8bn in 2006/07 to £20.8bn in the year to March 2014, according to figures from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

The OSCR provided the figures in response to a request from a member of the public about the number of Scottish charities and their total annual incomes made under the Freedom of Information Act.

The OSCR report shows that total gross income jumped from £8.8bn in 2006/07 to just under £13bn the following year. It then rose rapidly to £20.1bn in 2011/12, and has risen relatively slowly since then.

The overall number of charities increased from 22,439 to 23,826 over the same period.

The figures show that a large increase in the number of cross-border charities – those that are also registered with the Charity Commission – accounted for a significant proportion of the rise.

The number of cross-border charities went up from 64 in 2006/07 to 911 in 2013/14, while income recorded by those organisations went up from just under £2.1bn to £11.2bn over the same period.

When data from cross-border charities is removed, annual income went up from £6.8bn to 2006/07 to £9.6bn in 2014.

But notes provided by the OSCR on the data warn that the income figures could contain double counting – for example, among groups that produce consolidated accounts where the subsidiary has a separate charity number, or among charities that provide grants to other charities.

An OSCR spokeswoman said the large increase in cross-border charities could be explained by the fact that the regulator had had a drive to encourage them to register with the OSCR, which began when it started operating in 2006.

She said that although cross-border charities made up a small proportion of the total number of charities, they accounted for a significant amount of overall income.

She said that inflation was also a factor behind the overall increase in income.

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