+44 (0)13398 81444 | Privacy Policy

© The MacRobert Trust | Site Design GoViewMedia


The MacRobert Trust is a charitable organisation that uses income from its financial investments and estate activities to provide grants for registered charities across the UK. The MacRobert Trust has been making grant awards since its inception in 1954, and in the past 10 years alone, over £10m has been awarded in charitable grants to worthwhile causes. 

These have included some substantial grant awards.  For example, The MacRobert Trust provided early funding for the MacRobert Arts Centre (Stirling), Rachel House (Children’s Hospice, Stirling), MacRobert Building (Aberdeen University), MacRobert Farming and Rural Skills Centre (Dumfries House), among others. 

The MacRobert Trust is also a proud supporter and advocate of small, independent charities.  These charities are the backbone of the charitable sector and are often run by a core team of dedicated volunteers, where a smaller grant award can make a fundamental difference.

Applications for grant funding are encouraged from charities that meet our charitable themes and eligibility criteria.  The themes have been carefully selected by our Board of Trustees and reflect the key areas of interest that are closely aligned to the values of our late founder, Lady Rachel MacRobert.  


All our charitable grant awards must meet the criteria of one (or more) of our charitable themes. Please take time to read the information provided, as you will be asked during the application process why you have selected a specific theme and explain why you feel the application you are submitting meets the requirements.

Theme 1:   Armed Forces & Good Citizenship

Theme 2:   Education & Professional Excellence

Theme 3:   Local Community & Other MacRobert Interests 

Download Themes

Application Guidelines

The Trust operates an online application process.  Please read the eligibility criteria and guidance for each type of award before beginning the application. It is important to let us know as much information as possible which may help your application. The type of detail we are looking for includes:

  • The charity’s background, aims and objectives, current services being delivered, latest projects and achievements.
  • A full and detailed description of the project requiring funding – what are your plans, who/how many are involved, where is the project base and how will it be managed?
  • Which part of the project are you applying to the Trust for?
  • How have you identified the need for this work?
  • What differences the project will make and what are the expected outcomes. Have timelines and targets been set?
  • How will you monitor and evaluate the work so you can be clear if outcomes are met and it is a success?
  • Has any funding already been secured and who else do you propose to apply too?

Given the volume of demand is far greater than our available funding, we will always advise if your application does not fall into one of our themes. This will avoid unnecessary work and disappointment. Awards are made to organisations registered as charities with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or with the relevant Charity Commission for charities operating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Awards are to be for the support of activities and projects within the United Kingdom and our preference will be given to charities based in Scotland.  Our decision is final and we reserve the right to withdraw a category or theme without notice.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your application prior to submission, please contact us at info@themacroberttrust.org.uk

Budget Guidance

All applications must be accompanied by your detailed budget sheet or our revenue and capital form, either will be accepted.

Your budget information needs to inform us of:

  • Projected income and expenditure for each year you are requesting our support.
  • Clearly show what income is secured and what is still pending.
  • Ensure your figures match the application narrative.
  • Where possible, include costs for the project you are applying for.
  • If applying for running costs, a breakdown of the charity’s annual costs will be required.
  • Your charity’s annual audited accounts must be sent to us with the application and each year thereafter, until the award duration is complete. Future award payments may be held if accounts and progress reports are not received.
  • The Trust will always check your charity has a clear and published reserves policy that meets the needs of your charity.
Application Deadlines

Please click the button below to download a PDF of our latest application deadlines.
Download Deadlines

The Trust aims to make decisions within the timeframe noted above. Should there be any delay, you will be informed by email.

Our decision is final. The volume of applications does not allow for detailed feedback, however, if you are unsuccessful we will endeavour to outline within your outcome letter the key reason for the decision.

Should your application be successful, there must be a two-year period from the date of the last award payment before you can apply again for funding.

If your application was unsuccessful, charities are asked to wait for one year before submitting a further application. We would recommend contacting us first, to talk about your application, before resubmission.

Should circumstances change, we reserve the right to withdraw a category, theme or review at any time. Any updates will be posted on the website or, if an application has already been received, you will be informed directly.


Safeguarding relates to the actions taken to promote the welfare and well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults, to protect them from harm, abuse and neglect.

The Trustees of a charity have the primary responsibility for safeguarding beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, and must take all the necessary steps to ensure that their charity is operating in a safe and secure environment. The MacRobert Trust takes safeguarding seriously and we expect charity’s applying for awards to have a safeguarding policy, which is up-to-date and relevant to their beneficiaries. You will be asked for a copy of your charity’s safeguarding policy during the application process.

Please note that The MacRobert Trust receives an extremely high volume of applications and there is a limit to the funds we have available. We always reserve the right to exercise discretion when considering which applications will be successful. As mentioned previously, the decision is final, and you cannot appeal. Due to limited staffing within the charity department, it may be difficult to offer feedback to each charity. We will endeavour to do so when asked but this may not always be possible.

If you are considering applying for any of the monetary awards described here, please look at the themes, exclusions and guidelines before completing the application form. In light of the volume of requests, please be aware that those applications which do not follow the guidance or answer the questions may well be excluded without further consideration. Should you have any questions, please contact the Charity Manager before beginning the application process.


The Trust’s Charitable Giving Policy lists what we consider supporting.

Applicants should familiarise themselves with the Charitable Themes before making an application.  Your application should fit within the definition of a Theme. You may select as many Themes as are applicable to you project.

Download Themes

As a broad guide, applications are not accepted from:

  • Organisations based outside the United Kingdom.
  • Beneficiaries resident outside the United Kingdom.
  • Individuals, except through The Trust’s own training schemes.
  • General or mailshot appeals.
  • Political organisations.
  • Religious organisations.
  • Retrospective applications.
  • Student bodies as opposed to universities.
  • Departments within a university unless the appeal gains the support of, and is channelled through, the Principal.
  • Community and village halls other than those local to the Trust.
  • Pre-school groups, after-school clubs or school PTA’s other than those local to the Trust.


Cromar awards are those which are of a total monetary value up to £1,000.  Cromar award applications are reviewed on a monthly basis.  To be considered during the following month, applications should be submitted via the portal on the website, by the 21st of each month. Applicants will be informed of the outcome by the end of the first week of the following month.

Find Out More


Alastrean awards are those that are of a total monetary value over £1,000 and up to a maximum of £10,000.  Applications for this award will be reviewed between four and six times per year. Please review the application deadlines for further information.

Find Out More


Douneside awards are those which are of a total monetary value over £10,000 and up to a maximum of £50,000.  Applications for this award will be reviewed by our Trustees twice each year in May and November. Please review the application deadlines for further information.

Find Out More