Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations logo.jpg
Abbreviation SCVO
Formation 1943 (1943)
Type Umbrella body
Headquarters Mansfield Traquair Centre, Edinburgh
Region Scotland
Membership 1400 (approx.)
Chief executive Martin Sime
Convener Shulah Allan

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national membership body for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. SCVO works to support people to take voluntary action to help themselves and others, and to bring about social change. It provides services and support to the third sector in Scotland to advance shared values and interests. SCVO has approximately 1,500 members, ranging from individuals and grassroots groups, to Scotland-wide organisations and intermediary bodies.[1] The organisation employs approximately 100 staff.


SCVO’s aims are to:

- support third sector organisations to do their work

- promote and support shared interests of third sector organisations

- connect people with ways to get involved with their communities

- as an organisation continually learn, develop and enhance its own effectiveness.


SCVO is governed by a Management Board with representatives elected from its Policy Committee. Martin Sime has been chief executive since 1991. Alison Elliot became convener in 2007.[2] Shulah Allan is the current convener as from November 2013.


Established on 1 October 1943, SCVO was originally known as the Scottish Council of Social Service (SCSS). During its first years much of the Council’s work was dictated by wartime need and its immediate aftermath.

In 1983 the Council’s name was changed to the Scottish Council for Community and Voluntary Organisations with the working title of Voluntary Action for Scotland. In 1986 the name Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations was adopted.

SCVO hosted the 6th, 7th and 8th CIVICUS World Assemblies in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Current work[edit]

SCVO supports the third sector in Scotland in a variety of ways, including

  • Lobbying and campaigning on behalf of the sector
  • Running training, conferences and events
  • Providing services and deals to members
  • Managing jobs and employability initiatives

Sister Councils[edit]

The equivalent infrastructure bodies for voluntary organisations in the other UK countries are:


  1. ^ "About us". Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  2. ^ The Scotsman. 30 November 2007 title=Ex-Moderator takes on role as volunteers chief title=Ex-Moderator takes on role as volunteers chief |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 12 October 2014.