About OneCity Trust

Social Exclusion in Edinburgh

Recent studies have shown that Edinburgh is a wealthy city, with incomes 9% higher than the national average. However, this wealth is not shared with all in our city, as 22% of all Edinburgh households were living in relative income poverty.

Although homelessness is falling in Edinburgh, we have the highest homelessness application rate of all large urban Scottish local authorities.

People living in the most deprived areas of Edinburgh are twice as likely to die before 75 from heart disease when compared to the Edinburgh average.

Our priorities

The Trust fulfils its mission by initiating and funding projects in many areas, including:

  • education
  • social welfare
  • human rights
  • inequalities
  • poverty.

Our priorities are to support projects which:

  • actively bring people together from across divides
  • have long-term social inclusion benefits
  • are low-cost but high-impact
  • add value to existing initiatives
  • provide a rapid response to problems recently identified
  • offer innovative and collaborative methods for addressing social exclusion.

The Board agree strategic funding priorities each year. Past priorities have included literacy, food, environment, homelessness, and mental health.

How we work

OneCity Trust is a simple and effective way to make a positive impact on local communities now and in the future. We seek contributions from the wealth of Edinburgh and make grants to projects tackling exclusion in the city. Usually, donations are added to the endowment to boost the income it provides every year for grant-making. Even when donations are made for specific purposes, we ask that a small proportion is added to the endowment, to keep it at the heart of what we do. The unique structure of the Trust enables it to support small-scale local organisations as well as larger organisations that span the city.

The Trust currently operates two funds:

  • Main grants programme – larger grants and strategic projects
  • Lord Provost’s Rapid Action Fund – small grants to meet urgent need.

How you can help

You can make a donation to the OneCity Trust! Individuals who want to ‘put something back’ into the city they love, and companies keen to fulfil their CSR objectives, can make a contribution which is local and real. You know you are giving to a cause which is actively striving to make Edinburgh one city. It is independent, yet permanently rooted in the civic life of the city. To donate to the Trust, or get involved, please contact us.


OneCity Trust has raised funds through a number of exciting initiatives and city partnerships. These have included: unique book collaborations such as the OneCity Book, with stories by Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh; the city’s Cow Parade, which saw brightly painted cows appear everywhere; and also concerts, dinners, auctions, parades and 2017 has seen the inaugural Lord Provosts Burns Supper and Comedy Evening!