Scotland's voluntary sector manifesto for 2020

From Civil society Scotland Wiki

About the manifesto and the SCVO Policy Forum

This is the collaborative space for drafting Scotland's voluntary sector manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2020.

The manifesto drafting process is being led by the SCVO Policy Forum, with support from SCVO's policy team. The developing version of this manifesto is therefore publicly available. The final version of this manifesto will be reviewed and signed by the SCVO board of trustees in January 2019, followed by publication and communication of the manifesto by SCVO in a variety of formats.

The manifesto draws on the following evidence:

  • A consultation session with Scotland's voluntary sector at the SCVO Gathering conference in February 2019
  • Four evidence sessions during 2019 with expert witnesses in open livestreamed discussion with Policy Forum members
  • Data and evidence collected through the SCVO Evidence Library
  • Analysis by SCVO policy team with contributions from the wider voluntary sector available on this wiki.
  • An open request for policy proposals targeted at Scotland's voluntary sector, including SCVO members and partners
  • A writing workshop with the Policy Forum held on 21st August 2019.


The next decade could bring some of the most profound social, economic, political and environmental changes in living memory.

  • By 2030, Scotland’s population will be larger and older.
  • The rise of artificial intelligence and automation will radically change the jobs market and the world of work.
  • The free movement of people, goods and money between Scotland and its neighbours will be fundamentally changed by Brexit.
  • Slow growth and possible recession is predicted.
  • The success of populist and divisive politicians has profound implications for all countries.
  • And by 2030, a radical global response to the climate emergency and nature crisis must be agreed and enacted to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

The challenges of the next decade are significant, and they are real.

Led by our politicians in collaboration with business, academia and civil society, Scotland must be ready to respond to those challenges.

With the right drive and vision, it is possible to make our response an historic opportunity to build a fairer, greener and more prosperous country, delivering Scotland’s commitment to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

A thriving, sustainable voluntary sector is critical to the realisation of these goals.

There are over 40,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland, with almost half categorised as registered charities.

The sector employs over 100,000 people – making it one of the country’s biggest employment sectors – and has a turnover of almost £6 billion.

Each year, around 1.4million volunteers donate their time to help these organisations to support communities and people in need.


This manifesto is a rallying cry from Scotland’s voluntary sector to collaborate to achieve the visionary transformation these challenging times call for around the following themes, each with its own separate page:

  • Humanity - Supporting human rights, equality and wellbeing for all
  • Citizenship - Enhancing citizenship, democracy and participation
  • Planet - Securing environmental action and responsibility to the planet for its future generations

The voluntary sector stands ready to share its knowledge and expertise to face the challenges of the next decade and to help build a fair and prosperous future for everyone.