Philanthropy at Baillie Gifford

September 2022

Key Points

  • Our support for charities and other community initiatives is philanthropic, not for commercial gain
  • We take a long-term approach, helping charities and non-profits make sustainable change
  • Alongside charitable donations, we encourage Baillie Gifford staff to personally get involved in volunteering and mentoring

Baillie Gifford supports charity and community organisations across the world.

Throughout our firm’s history, our partners have supported charities and organisations in need. That was amplified in 2001 when we officially founded our Philanthropy Committee and began working as a collective.

We have three guiding principles:

1. Our community engagement is purely philanthropic
We are motivated by helping people, not by marketing or advertising benefits.
We focus on supporting grassroots projects.
We prioritise those who may find it harder to seek funding elsewhere.

2. We apply a long-term perspective to everything we do
Rather than looking for a short-term fix, we work with charities over multiple years, supporting their growth and long-term development.

3. Our staff are at the heart of our charitable giving
We want Baillie Gifford to be a place where people can make a difference and value the opportunity to do so.

Sam Pattman (right) and Juliet Tweedie (left), Baillie Gifford’s Philanthropy Managers

As Baillie Gifford’s Philanthropy Team, we manage its community engagement. We work in partnership with a committee of staff subgroups spanning:

  • arts
  • communities
  • grassroots sports
  • health and education
  • international
  • land, air and sea
  • social

Each year, staff nominate and vote for a Charity of the Year. We then fundraise for the chosen charity through staff events and initiatives.

We also look to support the charity in other ways. That can include volunteering and mentoring, training resources, design and printing, and technology support.

Staff can also make a difference through our Community Awards programme, where they nominate a charity to receive a £1,000 grant. The initiative runs three times a year, with the Philanthropy Committee approving up to 50 grants each round. Since launching in 2017, our staff have helped 490 charities across the world.

Most of our philanthropy is focused on charities working in Scotland, where we are headquartered. But we are a global company, and we are increasing our giving overseas.

Die Arche, a German charity that helps disadvantaged children, is among the international organisations we support. © Die Arche

Our international offices in Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Krakow, New York, Shanghai, Toronto and Zurich all support local causes chosen by their staff.

Why we give

Over the last few years, our charitable giving has become even more needed as people have been affected by the challenges of our times.

We want to help where needed most by supporting local food banks and community centres, mental health programmes and projects that help those struggling with isolation.

We want everyone to have a chance, so we support early-intervention programmes and lifelong learning. That includes bursaries to many of Scotland’s universities and charities helping young people get into work, apprenticeships or higher education.

Climate change underpins a lot of our thinking across the firm, and philanthropy is no different. We support work that promotes low-carbon and sustainable living and help organisations on their own routes to net zero.

Street Soccer Scotland helps provide support to people who have experience of homelessness. © Street Soccer

Our support of arts and cultural organisations brings international talent to Scotland and enriches the cultural landscape of our towns and cities.

We believe that everyone should have access to creative and cultural experiences. So our philanthropy is focused on inclusion and accessibility, engaging communities across Scotland and providing educational experiences for young people and families.

We are proud to work with our partner organisations and see the difference they make in the world.

We strive to be open, honest, approachable and transparent. To help where it is needed the most. And to do our part in making society a better place for everyone.

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