Scottish Third Sector Tracker Report: Main Challenges to Sector

Published: January 15, 2024


The Scottish Third Sector Tracker (linked for your convenience) has found that issues relating to staffing and volunteers are one of the main challenges for third sector groups and organisations.

Data from the tracker (which is overseen by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)) observes the emergence of the sector from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, followed by the development of the cost of living crisis and associated organisational concerns during 2022 and 2023.

In August 2021, 35% of organisations reported a significant concern about staff and volunteer numbers; this figure has now risen to 65%, with finances listed as the only bigger challenge for the sector.

Additionally, third sector groups have reported an ongoing increase in demand for their core services and activities over the 6 waves of the tracker’s first phase (Phase One): in Wave 1 (Aug 2021), 56% of organisations reported an increased demand, rising to 63% by Wave 6 (Apr 2023). The report has highlighted that this increased demand on the sector, plus rising costs and funding cuts, has led to increased difficulties for the sector.

For further information, please view the news article from Third Force News (part of SCVO).

Alternatively, to read the Phase One report in full, please visit the dedicated Tracker report page.

Scottish Third Sector Tracker

The Scottish Third Sector Tracker is a research community made up of representatives from third sector organisations based across Scotland, who share their experiences, views and concerns as the sector faces both new and ongoing challenges. The tracker is run by independent research company DJS Research on behalf of SCVO, Scottish Government, the William Grant Foundation, and the National Lottery Community Fund Scotland.

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