About Us

What does Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway do?

We are an organisation that exists to promote, support and develop a strong third sector; develop social enterprise; develop volunteers and volunteering; and connect the third sector to community planning.

Our vision is:

To improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and communities in Dumfries and Galloway.

Our mission is:

We will work with third sector and public sector stakeholders to:

  • identify where service changes have had the biggest impact
  • design responses to need
  • create the environment for innovation
  • maximise community empowerment

Who is Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway?

Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway is a membership organisation with charitable status.

Membership is open to all third sector organisations operating in Dumfries and Galloway.

The members elect a Board of Trustees who are entrusted with our governance; with setting our strategy; with ensuring that we are well managed and inclusive; and that we communicate effectively with all of our stakeholders.

Our services are delivered by a staff team with bases in Dumfries and Stranraer.

What is the Third Sector?

The third sector is a term used to describe the range of organisations that are neither the public sector nor the private sector. Our sector includes organisations that have a social or environmental purpose – organisations that exist to improve the lives of the people and communities of Dumfries and Galloway. It includes voluntary and community organisations (both registered charities and other organisations such as associations, self-help groups and community groups), social enterprises, co-operatives, credit unions and mutuals and, of course, all of those people who volunteer and work within these organisations.

An organisation is generally regarded as being in the third sector if it:

    • Has a positive community purpose. Our sector is “value driven” which means that we are motivated by a desire to achieve social goals by improving the wellbeing and prosperity of people and communities.
    • Is run by an unpaid voluntary committee or board of trustees/directors. It could be said that the role of volunteers in our sector is part of our DNA.
    • Is not set up to distribute profit to private shareholders and reinvests any surpluses generated in pursuit of their goals. Our sector is sometimes called the “not-for-profit” sector. A better term would be “not-for-personal-profit”. In many cases organisations in our sector need to make profits to be financially stable.
    • Is not run by or affiliated to a political party or a statutory body of government (this is an important part of the history and culture of our sector).

The Scottish Government is committed to the development of an enterprising third sector in Scotland. For further information on the Scottish Government and the third sector click here.

Can my organisation become a member?

We welcome applications from all third sector organisations working in Dumfries and Galloway. Membership is free. There are no barriers to membership of Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway. One of our principles is that membership is at all times open and voluntary – and that we will place members at the centre of our decision making.

Community Councils are statutory bodies of government. They are, however, made up of unpaid members of the local community who give their time voluntarily and are an important conduit for community development. Community Councils may become Affiliate members of Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway

Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway also welcomes applications for Affiliate Membership from organisations that share our vision and mission.

Click here to join Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway online.


Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway will use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this web site, but Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy and expressly disclaims any obligation to update said information. All users agree that they access and use this web site at their own risk. Any views expressed by third parties on the site are not necessarily shared by Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway, which accepts no responsibility for such views.

Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway has not reviewed all of the sites that may be linked to this web site and makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy and/or any other aspect of the information contained in any off-site pages or any other site linked to this web site. All users agree that the linking is at their own risk. The information on this web site is provided by Third Sector, Dumfries and Galloway and is designed to comply with laws and regulations of the United Kingdom. Although accessible by users from other countries, it and its content are intended for access and use by residents of the United Kingdom only.