Scotland's Third Sector

Scotland has an active third sector with around 45,000 voluntary organisations supporting action and activity across the country.  

They include charities, social enterprises, voluntary organisations, and public social partnerships.  

These organisations are diverse in how they operate, in how they are structured and in the types of activity that they might be involved in.  However, they share common aims in helping to release the potential within communities and take forward action and address needs.  


Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs)

Third sector interfaces (TSIs) provide a single point of access for support and advice for the third sector within local areas. There is a TSI in each local authority area in Scotland.

Some are partnerships working across large areas, some combine all the functions of the TSIs’ work under one roof.

The TSI Scotland Network is a body of charities that support the third sector across Scotland. The TSI Scotland Network website contains information on TSIs across Scotland, including a directory to allow people to find their local third sector interface.

Visit the TSI Scotland Network website here

Third Sector Interface: outcome framework

Working with Evaluation Support Scotland and TSIs, Scottish Government co-produced a TSIs outcome framework in November 2018.

Access the Outcomes Framework here

Useful links

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national membership organisation for the voluntary sector. The SCVO mission is to support, promote and develop a confident, sustainable voluntary sector in Scotland.

Access the SCVO website

Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS)

The Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS) is a membership organisation that represent a network of development trusts, facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise and encouraging mutualism and co-operation.

Access the DTAS website

Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC)

Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) is a leading body for community development in Scotland. It works towards a vision of an active, inclusive and just Scotland where communities are strong, equitable and sustainable

Access the SCDC website

Volunteer Scotland

Volunteer Scotland is a national centre for volunteering. It engages with organisations and individuals across Scotland, providing help, advice and training and working to support projects, innovation and creativity in volunteering

Visit the Volunteer Scotland website

Valuing the Third Sector- Parliamentary Debate

In December 2020, the Scottish parliament held a debate on Valuing the Third Sector. You can watch a video of the debate at the Scottish Parliament website here.