“Our mission is to support our beneficiary charities to achieve their purpose”
The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust awards around £3m 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 the Trust in 2018, following another role in grant making with the Cattanach Trust, which focused on supporting families living in hardship, particularly during their children’s very early years. Rachel understands the value of grants – whether small, developmental or more strategic – to charities and the difference this can make to communities in Scotland.
A psychology graduate from Durham University, Rachel’s career started in banking and management. Having qualified in financial services, she moved into the third sector, where she supported Business Development functions for Barnardo’s. She has also undertaken a governance-related role within local authority. In all of these roles, Rachel has enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life and in developing meaningful relationships, many of which have followed her from sector to sector.
Rachel has a young family, who in their days off like nothing more than time in the great Scottish outdoors.
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.
Finance & Awards Officer
Lesley joined the Trust in 2010, having previously been employed with the Trust’s audit firm. Lesley came with a wealth of accounts preparation and audit experience, specialising in the preparation and audit of charity accounts. Since joining the Trust Lesley has also become involved in the grants administration and assessment processes. Previous voluntary experience has included counselling with a crisis telephone line charity. Lesley is currently involved with a charity that helps people with their brokenness through life’s traumas.
A believer in trying to keep healthy and fit Lesley enjoys walking with local walking groups.
Admin & Finance Assistant
Kirsty joined the Trust in July 2017 having worked in the charity sector in Edinburgh as well as Dublin in facilities, administration and PA roles.
Within the Trust, Kirsty is the main point of contact for office queries and also looks after the booking of our meeting room, assisting any beneficiary charities who may wish to use it.
Outside of work, Kirsty keeps fit by running and has covered varying distances, including a marathon in 2014, however, doubts she will do another!
Bruce retired in early 2012 after a full career with Mercer, originally as a consulting actuary advising on occupational pension provision.
He held many management roles with the company, including global leadership of the Mercer’s retirement, risk and finance business and as its global chief retirement strategist.
Bruce is also chairman of the MMC UK Pension Fund and a non-executive director of Baillie Gifford Life and Mercer Global Investments Europe.
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 currently the Chief Executive of The Scottish Council on Visual Impairment, the Independent Chair of two Adult Protection Committees, and Vice Chair 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.
As a graduate of Glasgow University, Robert qualified as a corporate lawyer in 2001 with Dundas & Wilson in Edinburgh. Since 2010, Robert has worked as in-house legal counsel for Virgin Money (acting as Head of Strategic Projects and latterly as Head of the Corporate and Company Secretariat team) and played a leading role in Virgin Money’s acquisition of Northern Rock plc and its subsequent IPO. Robert was also involved in setting up the operating arrangements for the Virgin Money Foundation and provides an introduction to business for primary school pupils via the Virgin Money ‘Make £5 Grow’ programme.
Away from work, Robert enjoys football, golf and skiing and is involved in coaching children’s football through Aberdour Kids Football Club.
Dr Patricia Donald MBE
Tricia is a retired GP from Edinburgh and also involved in a number of initiatives in Scotland promoting General Practice. She is the Clinical Lead for the Dementia programme in NW Edinburgh demonstrating Health and Social Care Integration for people with dementia. Tricia is also working with the Scottish Government as the Clinical Lead with Project Acorn, facilitating a bottom up approach for General Practice to help in reducing Health Inequalities.
Tricia chairs the Research Panel for the Trust and in her spare time likes to go ski touring and walking in the hills, or listening to music and visiting art galleries.
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.
A Chartered Accountant, Moira has been on the Board and chaired the Finance Panel of the Trust since 2014. She started her career with Ernst & Young in audit and corporate finance prior to senior financial and strategic management roles in the oil and gas and charity sectors. Moira is currently Finance Director of a legal services firm in Edinburgh
When not counting beans, Moira enjoys counting notes, playing the cello in an orchestra and various chamber music groups.