FAQs

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.

We regularly attend outreach and funding events across Scotland where you can speak with a Funding Officer face to face and we hold drop-in days at our offices in Glasgow. Details of forthcoming events we will be attending and drop-in days can be found on our events page on our website.

We also provide guidance over the phone or by e-mail. We would ask however that you read both our guidance and the Apply for Funding pages on our website before making an enquiry.

If you enquire by e-mail, we could ask that you include only a brief outline of the project/work towards which funding is sought. Please do not send us bulky or lengthy project proposals.

Unfortunately, we cannot review draft applications.

This relates to the legal structure of your organisation rather than your ethos or approach. The Robertson Trust can only accept applications from registered charities, whichever form they may take (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, Unincorporated Association, Trust etc.) and Community Interest Companies Limited by Guarantee.  You must therefore be registered with either the Scottish Charity Regulator, Charity Commission or with the CIC Regulator.  We will not progress applications from organisations who do not meet our eligibility criteria.

As confirmed above we can accept applications from Community Interest Companies Limited by Guarantee; CIC’s Limited by Shares are not eligible to apply to the Trust.  As part of the application process we will ask you to provide a copy of your incorporation certificate which confirms your CIC status, a copy of your most recent CIC 34 report as submitted to the CIC regulator and a statement of income and expenditure to supplement your annual accounts.  As a matter of good governance we also require CICs to have a minimum of 3 directors, none of whom are employed as members of staff.

Please be aware that we will not be able to progress with your application if you do not submit this additional documentation with your online form.

Governance relates to the way your organisation is run. It is essentially the principles against which your organisation carries out its work and your process for decision-making.  We expect your organisation to have a minimum of 3 trustees or directors and for you to be able to show that you hold regular meetings.  If your charity employs staff who are also trustees/directors, or there are any related/connected persons within the organisation, we will ask you to provide details of the policies you have in place to mitigate any conflict of interest.  It is always helpful for you to explain any plans you may have in place to change your Board structure under these circumstances.  Please note that we are unlikely to consider funding the salaries of employees who also hold trustee/director positions within the applicant organisation.   Other indicators of good governance include openness and transparency with your internal policies, strong financial controls and fair decision-making processes. It also includes access to appropriate training and support for your staff and volunteers, and the effective management of relationships with partners and stakeholders.  You may also want to highlight in your application any key organisation accreditations you have, and/or recent reports from regulatory bodies such as the Care Inspectorate.

We assess this on the basis of the accounts provided in support of your application. As a general rule, if these indicate that you have reserves in excess of 12 months expenditure we are unlikely to fund your organisation. We also take into consideration any investments (liquid) held by charities.

However, we recognise that there may be a good reason why you require to hold these funds. You may be planning a large capital investment programme, for example. We take such factors into consideration but it is important that you tell us at the point of application and you will find a section within our application form which allows you to do this.

Our guidance will help you decide which form to use depending on the amount of funding you are requesting.  If you are unsure how much to ask for, we would advise completing the form you think most closely fits with the amount of funding you would like.  We will determine the amount of funding we can award during the assessment process and your funding officer will let you know if they need any additional information to support them in their decision.  It is worth noting that organisations applying for a Small grant can be awarded a Main and similarly you might apply for a Main Award but be granted a Small Award.  Your Funding Officer will seek to manage your expectations around this where possible.  Completion of the wrong form will in no way impact on the outcome of your application. We will determine the amount of funding we can award during the assessment process and your Funding Officer will let you know if they need any additional information to support them in their decision. 

No - Our standard position is to make revenue awards over a three year period.  In the event that your Funding Officer feels that an initial three year award may not be appropriate, this will be discussed with you as part of the assessment process.

Full cost recovery is the system by which organisations secure funding for the full cost of a project or service by including both the direct costs of the project and a relevant portion of overhead costs within a budget. We may be able to fund costs associated with full cost recovery where they are considered fair, reasonable and associated with the project or staff costs being applied for.  However, requests are dealt with on a case by case basis, taking into account the applicant’s resources and funding - not all requests for contributions to indirect costs will be successful and such decisions are at the Trust’s discretion. There must be a rational basis for the method used to share overheads that can be justified and supported:  For example, we would not regard the addition of a standard percentage charge of project/staff costs to your budget as a fair or reasonable way of sharing overheads.

You will not be able to submit your completed online application form until you have attached a signed copy of your organisation’s most recent independently examined or audited Accounts and a completed budget.  We ask that you complete our budget template, rather than using your own template, and you can download this from within the online application or download it here.  If you do not use our template the assessment process may be delayed. 

If your request is for funding towards the salary costs of a specific worker we also need you to send a job description for the post. 

Once the application has been submitted it is no longer possible to access the online form.  If you need to tell us about any changes to this or send us any other relevant documentation, please send this to your funding officer or, if you do not know who this is, please email onlineapplications@therobertsontrust.org.uk quoting the grant reference ID, which you will find in your acknowledgement e-mail.

The assessment visit provides an opportunity for us to discuss your application in detail, including the organisation, the project and its budget.  For applications which relate to an existing post or for the refurbishment of premises, it’s useful for us to meet the member of staff and to visit the building. Where appropriate we also try to visit when your client group are accessing services.  The visits usually last no more than 1.5 hours and as far as possible we’ll try to flag up any key questions in advance.

At the point of registration we sent you an email with a link to the online form and you can access the form at any time through clicking on this link.  If you have lost/no longer have this email please let us know.

We routinely delete applications over 12 months old which have not been submitted.  If you attempt to access the online form and see this message it is likely that it has been deleted and you are advised to start a new application.

Applicants are advised to submit their form online however, we appreciate there may be times this is not possible.  Should you require a paper copy application form please contact the Giving Team.

We want to learn from the grants we award. By asking you to tell us about the people who will benefit from your work, we will be able to identify who our funding is reaching and where any gaps might exist. It will also help us to identify common themes in work which supports a particular beneficiary group, for example, approaches that work well or that could be replicated. We will use this information in the assessment of your application, to help us understand who your work is designed to support. We may share aggregated information about beneficiary groups with our Trustees to help inform future funding decisions. We may also share this with other third sector and statutory organisations to help inform wider policy and practice.

You must wait 12 months from the date of the email confirming our decision before reapplying.  This email will explain the reason(s) why your application was unsuccessful. We would recommend that you address these before re-applying to the Trust.

When you submit your application we send you an e-mail to confirm receipt.  Once we have reviewed your application we e-mail you again to let you know when you can expect to receive a decision. 

Our Giving Committee will now consider requests for Main, Enterprise and Major awards at four meeting dates each year - meeting dates for 2018 can be found here.  We will e-mail you after we have reviewed your application for one of these awards to let you know the meeting date at which it will be considered.  Following these meetings we will e-mail you to let you know our decision; this is normally within 7-10 working days of the meeting taking place. 

Requests for all other types of award (Small and Continuation) will be assessed on a rolling basis with no specific deadlines and we aim to ensure applicants are advised of the Trust’s decision within approximately 8 weeks.  Please note however this is an estimate and some applicants may wait longer for a decision, i.e. where additional information requested by us has not been received. 

If you do not receive any acknowledgement e-mails from us it’s possible your application has not been received and you should get in touch.  We would ask however that you check your SPAM/Junk e-mail folder before doing so. 

If you have a current revenue grant from the Trust, you must wait until this has finished prior to reapplying for further revenue funding, however you can apply for capital funding at any time.  Equally, if you have a current capital grant from the Trust, you may submit a separate request for revenue funding at any time.

You cannot normally, however, hold two revenue grants or two capital grants at the same time. This means that if you have a current grant of either type, we will not consider a new application for the same type of funding until your current grant has come to an end.

Capital funding

  • If you have had a capital grant and are applying for revenue funding you can apply at any time as explained above.
  • If you wish to apply for another capital award you must wait 12 months from the date we paid your previous capital grant. 

Revenue funding

  • If you have had a revenue grant and are applying for capital funding you can apply at any time.
  • If you wish to apply for revenue funding for a new piece of work you must wait 12 months from the date of the final payment for the previous grant before reapplying.  If you have just come to the end of a three year grant with us however you may not be able to reapply immediately.  Please refer to our Continuation award funding guidance here.
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