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.

Our overall aim as an organisation is “to improve the quality of life and realise the potential of people and communities in Scotland”. 

We have identified four high level outcomes which we are working towards which will support us in achieving this.  These are:

  • Improved outcomes for individuals and communities
  • Improved evidence base of what works and why in addressing challenges facing communities and individuals
  • Increased awareness and use of evidence to inform policy and practice
  • Improved capacity of third sector organisations to deliver impact to their beneficiaries

We do this by recognising and responding to need and disadvantage, and by building the capacity and sustainability of charitable organisations.  Every year, we fund and support charitable organisations of all sizes, committed to achieving positive change for individuals and communities across Scotland.  We have a particular focus on addressing a range of inequalities which exist in Scotland, including health, social, cultural and educational inequalities, and work in the following ways:

  • Providing funding to third sector organisations to deliver positive outcomes for the individuals and communities that they work with through our OPEN GRANTS AWARDS.
  • Providing additional capacity and skills building support to the organisations we fund through our FUNDER PLUS approach, and to the wider third sector through our CHARITY HUB in Glasgow.
  • Building understanding of the root causes of problems and testing potential approaches and solutions to these through our INNOVATION AND LEARNING APPROACH and PARTNERSHIP AWARDS.  We also evaluate our own activities through this work.
  • Supporting talented young people who may face barriers to education and development through our SCHOLARSHIP and BURSARY awards.

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.