At a time when many people of different demographics are isolated or disconnected from society, we want to connect people to opportunities, to their communities and to the natural world.

We encourage our employees to get involved in both allocating funds and using their time and skills to support projects.

2021 Highlights

£2.6m total charitable contribution

Over 100,000 expected beneficiaries

Employees volunteered over 2,600 hours

Building connection

‘Building connection’ is the overall focus of our social and environmental impact, including charitable giving. Our work to achieve this aim is focused on two main areas:

Connecting people

We fund projects that help people overcome barriers and realise their potential - creating a better future for themselves and their families. Projects are primarily focused on financial or digital education and inclusion, or promoting the development of fair and inclusive employment, particularly for socio-economically disadvantaged groups.


Connecting planet

We fund projects to enable people to engage with and protect nature, or that support habitat and wildlife restoration. This supports wellbeing, builds community cohesion, and ensures biodiversity and ecosystems can thrive for generations to come.

abrdn Charitable Foundation

Through the abrdn Charitable Foundation (ACF) we direct funding to charities around the globe, with the aim of having a meaningful and measurable impact. ACF is a registered charity with OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator (registered charity number SC042597).

How to apply for funding

Are you an organisation that would like to request funding? Please read our funding criteria first:

  • Donations are granted to established organisations that align with the foundation’s aims such as registered charities and community groups. We do not support crowdfunding initiatives or individuals
  • Requests must be aligned with our focus on ‘Building connection’
  • The project must support at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • We prefer to fund projects that give our people the opportunity to give back to local communities. We are particularly interested in forming partnerships with organisations that can create opportunities for skills based volunteering such as mentoring or pro bono support
  • Donations should fully fund a project which has specific, meaningful and measurable objectives. We do not contribute towards projects that include capital build costs
  • The activity, and beneficiaries of any donation, should be located in a community local to one of our offices (approximately 10 miles from an abrdn office)
  • Our preference is that funding should be spent within six months of being granted but exceptions are made for multi-year funding
  • The activity cannot promote religious or political views or discriminate against protected characteristics such as gender or sexual orientation

Please send a fully completed funding request form and your most recent audited accounts to

Terms and Conditions

ACF Board of Directors

ACF's Board of Directors has six members, including two independent Directors. The Board provides oversight and governance for our charitable giving.

Stephanie Bruce - Director
Stephen Whitehead - Director
Rene Buehlmann - Director
Paul Aggett – Independent director
David Gorman - Independent Director

Charity partner case studies

First Nations Foundation

Indigenous led non-profit First Nations Foundation aims to achieve financial prosperity for Indigenous Australians. Research shows 48% of Indigenous Australians are experiencing severe or high financial stress and only 1 in 10 are financially secure, compared with 1 in 2 non-Indigenous. First Nations Foundation offers a range of solutions to meet the different needs of the Indigenous population who are spread across urban, regional and remote communities.

Our financial support is helping First Nations Foundation to roll out financial education and wellbeing training to approximately 250 Indigenous youths. Training covers a range of topics including savings plans, managing expenses, culture and the economy. By supporting young people, the programme aims to encourage good money habits from a young age that participants can use throughout life.

Sutton Trust

The Sutton Trust exists to champion social mobility, so that every young person – no matter who their parents are, what school they go to, or where they live – has the chance to succeed in life. Our support of the Trust’s Pathways to Banking and Finance, is supporting over 200 talented students from less advantaged backgrounds each year with the vital skills, knowledge and experience to pursue a career in the sector. In addition to funding programme delivery costs, colleagues have directly supported young people by providing insights into the workplace. Latest findings show 88% of participants plan to pursue a career in banking or finance following the programme.

Helping our people to support their communities

We provide three paid days' volunteering leave for our people every year to contribute to their local communities. Many choose to use their time for company organised volunteering, or as charity trustees, mentors or for supporting local community groups.

We also support our colleagues to fundraise and donate to charities close to their heart through payroll giving schemes and with company matching of donations.

abrdn Financial Fairness Trust

abrdn Financial Fairness Trust (formerly Standard Life Foundation) is an independent charity that was established in 2016 using the unclaimed assets from Standard Life’s demutualisation ten years earlier. Chaired by Alistair Darling, it focuses on research, campaigns and policy work to improve financial wellbeing, living standards and personal finances for people on low to middle incomes in the UK.

Find out more about abrdn Financial Fairness Trust

Corporate Sustainability - find out more