1. Introduction

Published: 12/11/2018
Updated: 12/11/2018

What this Guidance covers

This Guidance sets out some of the key points to consider if your charity has investments or is thinking about investing and how your duties as charity trustees apply. It is intended to help charity trustees feel confident and informed as they approach this aspect of their charity’s finances. It is not detailed guidance on all the requirements of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 (the 2005 Act), but should help you make decisions about your money today and in the future, keeping in mind the duties of charity trustees. 

Legal requirements are something that the law says you must do and are highlighted by the ‘Legal Duty’ icon:

Legal duty 1

Good practice is not required by law but is something you could do to help make sure that your charity is doing its best to comply. What is good practice for your charity might depend on the size or type of charity you are. Examples of good practice are highlighted by the ‘Good Practice’ icon:

Good practice 1

What this Guidance does not cover

This Guidance is not intended to provide detailed guidance on investments and finance.  It does not constitute investment advice and does not cover the tax implications of investments. Charity trustees should always take appropriate advice where necessary – see sources of help and advice.

What this Guidance does not cover

This Guidance is not intended to provide detailed guidance on investments and finance. It does not constitute investment advice and does not cover the tax implications of investments. It is not intended as a detailed commentary on the law underpinning this area. Charity trustees should always take appropriate advice where necessary – see sources of help and advice.

Who is this Guidance for?

This Guidance is for:

  • charity trustees of Scottish charities
  • people working in Scottish charities
  • professionals who advise Scottish charities or who manage investments on behalf of Scottish charities may wish to use this Guidance as a tool to help their clients.

 

Myth busting

Charity law is not the same across the UK. It’s important to be aware that charity law in Scotland is different to the law which applies to charities in England and Wales. This means information you read from sources in England and Wales may not apply in Scotland. 

 

How to use the Guidance

The guidance is split into sections to help you find the information most relevant to you and your charity. 

Key terms are highlighted in bold purple type. Clicking on these terms will take you to either the charity law glossary on our website or to our specific investment terms glossary at section 9 of this guidance

Sources of help and advice

OSCR publishes general guidance for charities, but can’t provide specific advice on the full range of things which affect your charity’s finances. You may need to consult an adviser for professional help and support, such as a lawyer, accountant, investment manager, financial planner or other consultant.

These organisations in England and Wales have reference material on some of the areas set out in this Guidance, including examples of investment policy statements. These don’t fully reflect the law and regulation in Scotland, however the materials available may provide useful information or assist with charity trustee discussions:

OSCR is grateful to the following people for their support and assistance in producing this guidance:

Co-author and project manager:

Julie Hutchison        

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Reference Group:

Louise Devine       

Archdiocese of Glasgow

Jane Ferguson     

Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation

Amanda Forsyth   

Murray Asset Management UK Ltd

Pauline Hinchion   

Scottish Community Re: Investment Trust

Lynne Lamont     

Brewin Dolphin

Alastair Wilson     

Brooks Macdonald