What We Do

Please note that The Robertson Trust has published its new Giving Strategy. This sets out the priorities we will have when awarding funds through our open grants programme. The existing application form and guidelines can still be used until July 31st. In line with our existing procedures, we will aim to assess and present all applications received by this date to our September Board meeting. In the event that we are unable to do so, your application may be held until our November meeting. In such cases a member of staff will contact you and provide any assistance required to realign your application with the new Giving Strategy. Find out all you need to know here.

To achieve our mission of improving the quality of life and realising the potential of people and communities in Scotland, we focus on four high-level outcomes:

  • improving outcomes for individuals and communities
  • improving capacity of third sector organisations to deliver impact to their beneficiaries
  • building and using evidence to inform policy and practice
  • developing our own understanding of our role as a funder.

We do this by:

  • funding and supporting charitable organisations of all sizes who are committed to achieving positive change for individuals and communities across Scotland (see Open Awards)
  • building understanding of the root causes of problems and testing potential approaches and solutions (see Social Impact)
  • supporting talented young people who may face barriers to education and development (see Scholarship)

There are 10 principles which underpin the Trust's work:

  • The key criteria we will use when making funding decisions will be the ability of the applicant to have an impact on disadvantage, need or realisation of potential with their ultimate beneficiaries
  • We will have funding awards that enable us to respond flexibly to application for support from charities throughout Scotland, irrespective of their size or location.  We will take particular care to meet the needs of grass-roots charities
  • We will adopt a proactive ‘development’ approach to address unmet need in our priority themes
  • We will provide meaningful and proportionate ‘Funding Plus’ support to organisations we fund using both internal and external expertise and resources to build capacity and capability
  • New ways of funding will be used where they have demonstrable potential to maximise sustainable impact for our beneficiaries.
  • We will use our convening power and networks to foster and promote new ways of funding and partnership working
  • Each of our awards will be subject to an appropriate level of monitoring and evaluation  which we will analyse and use to inform future funding decisions
  • We will be open and transparent in sharing information where there are clear benefits to us doing so
  • We will share the learning from our work with policy makers, practitioners and charities and encourage its adoption
  • We will recognise the contribution made by and invest in the skills, expertise and networks of Trustees and staff in order to improve our social impact.