Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Registering as a charity

Understand if your Scout Unit needs to be registered as a charity

All Group, District and County/Area/Region (Scotland) Scout Units are independent charities. However, not all of them might be required to register as a charity. This depends on where the Scout Unit is based.

In England and Wales, Scout Units are excepted from registering as a charity with the Charity Commission unless:

  • their income is more than £100,000, or
  • they've permanent endowment (a rare interest in land/building or other assets which cannot be spent as ‘income’) and their income is £5,000 or over, or
  • they own land or buildings and their income is £5,000 or over

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, Scout Units are subject to compulsory registration with their own charity regulation bodies. 

For further information please read the charity registration guidance from:

Please note that even excepted and unregistered charities still remain subject to general charity law and the rules of the Charity Commission, which may investigate matters where there's proper cause for concern.

Charity numbers

If your Scout Unit is one of those excepted from registration, you can’t use or cite the District’s, County’s/Area’s/Region’s (Scotland) or The Scout Association's charity number as your own. 

If you're having trouble convincing someone of your charitable status (a bank, for example) we may be able to provide you with a letter of confirmation to assist. Email our Legal Services department ( for more information. 

Where groups have registered with HMRC for Gift Aid purposes and have been issued with a unique HMRC number, this can be used when applying to online fundraising sites, such as JustGiving and VirginMoneyGiving. 

Further support