65 new charities launch in Aberdeenshire – insurance specialist advises long-term planning for success


IN 2023, 629 charities were established across Scotland, an increase of 25 compared to the previous 12 months. Of these, 65 were registered in Aberdeenshire*, signifying a growing trend for people keen to make a meaningful difference in their communities as well as society at large.

The research was conducted by Ansvar, an expert insurer for the charity and not-for-profit sectors, using data available from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. It reveals a shift in the philanthropic landscape, indicating that more people are actively seeking ways to contribute positively. This is prompting Ansvar to extend its support and guidance to those aspiring to establish charities and community organisations.

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Martyn Fletcher, Deputy Managing Director at Ansvar, said: 

“The increase of charitable registrations is definitely something to be celebrated. We understand that navigating the complexities of setting up and running a charity successfully can be complicated. It requires careful consideration and planning to ensure long-term success and sustainability. 

“We are keen to empower those who want to establish their own charitable organisation in 2024 with the knowledge and resources needed to ensure the longevity and impact of their charitable endeavours.”

With the rise in charitable registrations, Ansvar is providing essential advice and guidance on the often-overlooked aspects of establishing and running a charitable organisation:

Identify the cause and purpose: Clearly define the mission and objectives of the charity and what positive impact it hopes to achieve. Find out if any charities are already providing the same services, as working together can be more effective than setting up a new charity and competing for resources.

Legal structure: Choose an appropriate legal structure for the organisation, such as a named fund or trust, social enterprise, or Scottish charitable incorporated organisation (SCIO). Each entity type has distinct legal and regulatory obligations, and being registered as a charity may pose limitations on pursuing the desired activities. It is therefore vital to understand the differences and restrictions. 

Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment: The assessment should include considerations for insufficient funding, governance, compliance, fraud and cybersecurity, and legal and regulatory risks. 

Create a business plan: Develop a detailed business plan outlining goals, activities, target beneficiaries, and anticipated outcomes. Include a budget that covers startup costs, operational expenses, and potential funding sources.

Registration: Register your charity with the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Scottish Charity Regulator, and ensure understanding and compliance with legal requirements for registration.

Insurance considerations: Assess the insurance needs of the charity, considering the size and nature of the operations, particularly in relation to staffing, volunteers and fundraising activities. Explore insurance options and work with a provider that understands the nuances of the sector. 

Financial management: Explore potential funding sources, such as grants, donations, and fundraising activities.

Martyn Fletcher added: 

“Many people embarking on the journey of setting up a charity or community organisation may not be aware of the intricacies involved. By carefully addressing each of these steps and risks, aspiring charity founders can lay a solid foundation for their organisations and increase the likelihood of making a positive and sustainable impact in their communities.”

* Data as per charities registered by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator between 1st January 2023 and 30th November 2023.

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