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Registering as a charity

All Scout Units are independent charities. However, those based in England and Wales may not be required to register with the Charity Commission as they have been ‘excepted’ by a ruling of the Charity Commission who, in their most recent guidance, have confirmed that Scout Units only have to register if:

However, it is important to 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 is proper cause for concern.

It is important to note that the above exception only applies to Scout Units based in England and Wales. Those based in Northern Ireland and Scotland are subject to compulsory registration with their own charity regulation bodies. For further information please see the below websites.

The Charity Commission of Northern Ireland (external link)

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator - Information about charities in Scotland and Wales (external link)

Charity numbers

If your Scout Unit is one of those excepted from registration you cannot use or cite the District, County or The Scout Association's charity number as your own. If you are having trouble convincing someone of your charity status (a bank, for example) we may be able to provide you with a letter of confirmation to assist. Please email the Legal Services department.

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, VirginMoneyGiving etc).

The Charity Commission is a valuable source of information.

Charity Commission for England and Wales (external link)

Scottish Charity Regulator (external link)

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (external link)


© Copyright The Scout Association 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW