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The story of our Giving Team in 2016/17

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.

During the course of this year, applicants to the Trust’s open award funding programme will have noticed a significant change to our previous funding “categories”.

This has come as a result of our new Giving Strategy, launched in August 2016, which was developed in consultation with many of our funded charities and other external stakeholders.

We very much hope that our three strategic funding strands; Care & Wellbeing, Strengthening Communities and Realising Potential and those themes highlighted within them, will attract strong applications for services and activities which address the inequalities and key social issues highlighted from this consultation, to which our Chair, Dame Barbara Kelly, referred to in her earlier column. We have also invested significant time and resource during the past year in streamlining our processes and applications for all types of funding are now available online. Our approach and the type of information we request as part of this will be regularly reviewed to ensure that we reduce unnecessary barriers for charities in accessing funding from the Trust.

The Trust also wishes to see a meaningful geographic spread in the distribution of our awards. Members of our Giving Team therefore participate in a broad programme of outreach activities across the country to increase our understanding of issues affecting local communities and to raise awareness of the types of funding which are available from the Trust. We now have the ability to track applications which are generated from these events and as always, will continue to seek feedback on how we can improve and make them more effective. In addition to our own programme of outreach, we are increasingly delivering events in partnership with other Funders and this year will develop a themed programme of Drop-Ins here at Robertson House.

Every day we see first-hand from visits to our funded organisations or from reading their reports, some of the incredible work being undertaken by third sector organisations across Scotland. However, what has become clear is that funding in itself is often not enough for many groups to survive and hopefully thrive in the current climate. This is why we have worked internally and in partnership with external agencies to help charities address some of their broader capacity, governance and financial planning issues. This “Funder Plus” approach is a key element of our Giving Strategy and will hopefully strengthen charities’ ability to continue providing services during this challenging period.

During the forthcoming year we therefore look forward to receiving applications for projects and activities which are aligned to those funding strands and themes described in the Trust’s Giving Strategy. We would encourage any potential applicants to look around our website, which has also undergone significant changes during the past year and provides full details of our funding criteria, themes and application processes.

If anything is unclear please contact a member of our Giving Team and we will be happy to provide any help or further information.

Download our full Annual Review 2016-17 here.