“Our mission is to support our beneficiary charities to achieve their purpose”
The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust awards around £2.5m to charities in Scotland every year.
A sense of family and community underpin the origins of the Trust and how we do our business. When we award grants to charities, we take an active interest in them and their activities. We want beneficiary organisations to feel part of our community and we seek ways to bring people together. Our aim is to provide a welcoming environment that is positive, encouraging, and supports charities to achieve their purpose. Please contact us if you’d like to know more.
The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust was set up by Roderick Stewart Macdonald in November 1978 with funds inherited from his father. R S Macdonald, born in 1922, was the only child of Alexander Muir Macdonald and Lydia Macdonald. Roderick’s grandfather, R J Macdonald, had been one of the founders of the distillery company Macdonald & Muir Ltd, which eventually became Glenmorangie plc. Following his death in 1995, the Trust fell heir to Roderick’s substantial holding in Glenmorangie plc. The Trust’s shares in the company were sold in 2004 and subsequently re-invested with a view to increasing the amount available for distribution to charities. Image: RS Macdonald (right) with his mother Lydia (top right) and other members of the family.
We are aware of those that are suffering and we are driven by a desire to do something about that.
We are transparent in our operations, inclusive and have an open door to those who wish to speak with us.
We take care in the management, allocation and use of our resources.
We are here to help other charitable organisations achieve their aims.
Who We Are
Rachel joined as Director of the Trust in 2018, where she oversees the day-to-day operations. Having over ten years’ experience in grant making, Rachel is committed to supporting charities be the very best they can. Working across all our grant programmes, Rachel guides our staff and our volunteers to provide an approach grant application and management which delivers on our mission, value and strategy.
Rachel’s working life started in banking, after which she has undertaken a number of roles which have focused on business development, governance and funding, in national and local third sector roles and local government.
Rachel has a young family, who in their days off like nothing more than time in the great Scottish outdoors.
Administration and Finance Assistant
Sam joined the Trust in September 2021, having worked in administration roles for over 8 years. Sam is delighted to be returning to the charity sector. Away from work Sam enjoys spending time with her young family.
Grants and Relationships Manager
Katie joined the Trust in April 2016 having worked in the charity sector and in an HR role at the University of Edinburgh for a number of years. Katie is delighted to return to grant making having previously been in a similar role at BBC Children in Need after graduating from Edinburgh University with a degree in Religious Studies. Away from work Katie likes to keep fit and healthy, enjoys Bootcamp, running and Geocaching.
Grants and Relationships Manager
Sandra joined the Trust in August 2022 with a background in Scottish higher education and charity fundraising having worked in the philanthropy team at Edinburgh University for 10 years, and prior to that in Trust fundraising for a Scottish based charity. Sandra also spent a number of years in corporate giving and community investment working within the banking sector.
Outside of work, Sandra enjoys being with her family, visiting new places, and volunteering when time allows.
James joined the trustee board in February 2021. He has over 30 years’ experience in audit, having worked as a partner in Deloitte until 2017. James currently Chairs the Audit Committee at Macfarlane Group plc and is also undertaking a PhD at the University of Glasgow Adam Business School.
His charitable interests, as well as this board, include acting as a Council member of Rainforest Trust UK.
John qualified as a social worker in 1976, and since then has worked in social care in the statutory and voluntary sectors in Scotland, predominantly as a senior manager in community care.
He retired from full time work in 2011 but has continued his involvement in social care. He is the Independent Chair of Child and Adult Protection Committees, and is the Chairperson of Key Housing Association and Community Supports.
He enjoys being a grandpa and playing the guitar and golf, though not necessarily all at the same time.
Frank is an academic General Practitioner, working as the Professor of Primary Care Medicine in The Medical School in the University of St Andrews and Skeith Health Centre, Anstruther. The main focus of his academic work is the application of health data science to study clinical decisions and conduct clinical trials in primary care e.g. in Bell’s Palsy.
With his football days in the past he keeps fit by running, cycling, hill walking and looking after grandchildren.
Fiona was born and educated in Edinburgh and graduated with a BA in Commerce in 1985. Fiona went on to have a varied career within the food and drinks industry in the West Midlands and in Scotland, with a brief spell in engineering after graduation. Amongst many highlights she worked within several disciplines including production, laboratory, operations, sales, marketing, hospitality, purchasing, consumer complaints, charities and sponsorship, multimedia and archiving.
Since having a family Fiona has majored more on her interest in people and has been a trustee since 2006.
As a graduate of Glasgow University, Robert qualified as a corporate lawyer in 2001 with Dundas & Wilson in Edinburgh; leaving in 2010 to join Virgin Money as in-house legal counsel (acting as Head of Strategic Projects and latterly as Head of the Corporate and Company Secretariat team. Robert played a leading role in Virgin Money’s acquisition of Northern Rock plc and its subsequent IPO and was also involved in setting up the operating arrangements for the Virgin Money Foundation. Robert joined Brodies LLP as a Legal Director in September 2019.
Away from work, Robert enjoys football, golf and skiing and is involved in coaching children’s football through Aberdour Kids Football Club.
Stephen is a Director in the Baillie Gifford Global Equities team. He joined Baillie Gifford in 2016. He previously spent 16 years as a Global, International and EAFE portfolio manager with Blackrock, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and Nikko Asset Management. Stephen graduated Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) from Dublin City University in 1998 and is a CFA Charterholder in 2003.