Working responsibly

Charitable giving

We support the communities in which we work through focused social investment and charitable donations.

In regions where we have operations, our support for local communities is coordinated in-country as part of our Impact Benefit activities.

We have an annual charitable giving programme, managed by our Charities Committee. All requests for funding are considered and evaluated in line with the Committee’s selection criteria.

Selection criteria

We support charities that share our core values of Building Respect, Nurturing Relationships and Acting Responsibly and that encourage the behaviours we value in our own organisation, such as teamwork, fostering individual potential and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit.

Our charitable giving is disbursed across a number of categories including young people, communities, health, environment, arts and culture, and education and learning.

Application guidelines
  • We consider applications from registered charities only.
  • Our support is primarily limited to charities operating in Edinburgh and Lothians.
  • Previous applicants are welcome to reapply, regardless of whether they were successful or not in previous rounds.
  • We do not provide details of average funding and minimum/maximum donations.
  • We cannot provide any specific feedback if an application is unsuccessful.
  • We are unable to provide any information in addition to what is available on this webpage regarding our donations and charitable giving process.
  • We often make partial donations.
  • We will consider multi-year support.
Please note that Capricorn does not fund:
  • charities with religious or political affiliations;
  • political parties;
  • places of worship;
  • labour unions;
  • organisations where there is a potential conflict of interest;
  • organisations that discriminate; or
  • individual sponsorship.


We have now disbursed all of our 2021 funding, including donations made in response to COVID-19 crisis, supporting charities in delivering high impact and immediate benefits for our local community.

Please note that 2023 funding applications should be submitted by Friday 11 November 2022.

Should you wish to apply to Capricorn for charitable funding and meet the selection criteria, please submit the completed application form to

All applications will be considered by the Charities Committee.


Case Studies

Young people from the UK’s most disadvantaged areas are up to four times less likely to go to university, and up to 12 times less likely to enter a top university, than those in the most advantaged areas*.

This makes it harder for these young people to succeed in a competitive job market: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are almost 60% less likely to be in a professional job across England, Scotland and Wales**. The long-term effects can be felt across society, as communities with low education and employment prospects become increasingly marginalised.

As a business focused on discovering and developing potential, we’re proud to support IntoUniversity, a national education access charity, operating local learning centres in deprived communities across the UK, each of which supports at least 1,000 young people a year. They support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise their aspirations, develop soft skills, improve their attainment and ultimately achieve successful futures. 66% of IntoUniversity students progressed to university in 2021 compared with 26% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.

IntoUniversity believe that all young people have the capacity for high achievement if they are determined, motivated and get the support and advice they need. We agree.

In the second tab, read about the experience of Alicia, a primary school pupil from Craigmillar, who has recently begun to attend the Edinburgh centre we support:

* UCAS 2020.
** State of the Nation Report, Social Mobility Commission).

Thanks to our generous supporters, like Capricorn Energy, we've begun supporting the local community in Craigmillar. In partnership with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the IntoUniversity programme complements existing provision in the area with additional and dedicated educational opportunities available to young people. It is heartening to see the positive feedback we've already had from the students, schools and community organisations we've engaged with, and I look forward to seeing the long term impact the centre has via the new opportunities it provides.

Kirsty Wadsley, Head of Operations – Scotland, IntoUniversity

Alicia’s story

Alicia, a P5 student, first started coming to Primary Academic Support at the centre after the IntoUniversity Craigmillar team shared a post with Connecting Craigmillar, a local community group, on Facebook. Alicia’s mum called straight away and enquired about Academic Support. Alicia attends one of the centre’s partner Primary schools so has also participated in the Primary FOCUS programme.

When she first started coming to the centre, her mum shared concerns with the team that Alicia had lost a lot of confidence with her school work during the pandemic and had struggled with home learning, particularly needing additional support with her Maths work. Alicia was slightly reserved when she first started coming to the centre and was a quieter participant in the group, however since coming to Academic Support, the IntoUniversity staff can see a big difference in Alicia’s confidence.

As each week progresses, she contributes more in group discussions and is always keen to get involved with every task. She comes into the classroom with a big smile each week and has commented that she finds Maths easier since coming to Academic Support. Alicia always aims really high in each session and will always try her hardest, even if it is out of her comfort zone. Alicia’s mum has shared with the team multiple times how much Alicia enjoys coming to Academic Support and how much she enjoyed the Primary FOCUS programme.

What do you hope to achieve by coming to IntoUniversity?

‘I am excited each week to come to IntoUniversity and I am excited for today’s session! I hope to make new friends and get some help with my school work. I think the sessions are fun and we get to learn about new things and subjects.’

How has IntoUniversity helped you?

‘IntoUniversity has helped me with new subjects. I didn’t know about History of Art and I have learnt about it here. IntoUniversity has helped me with Maths and negative numbers. I feel so good coming to IntoUniversity. I learnt about university [in a Primary FOCUS workshop] with IntoUniversity. We looked at different pictures and I would like to go to university in the countryside.’

What is your best memory of IntoUniversity? Why?

‘I have enjoyed learning about negative numbers and how to work out minus numbers. I have enjoyed the auction during Academic Support…I found the auction really exciting, I won lots of new pictures.’

What do you most enjoy about IntoUniversity?

‘I look forward to seeing my friend Hannah. I like meeting new people and have meet lots of new people already. I enjoyed learning about History of Art and the activities. I enjoy all of the activities.’

Which IntoUniversity programme did you find most beneficial and why? 

‘I have enjoyed everything I have done with IntoUniversity, there have been loads of good things. I had heard about university before, but the sessions had cleared up some things I knew already. Academic Support helps with my school work.’

How has IntoUniversity supported you to think about your future?

‘I would like to look after pets. I would like to be a vet and I also want to work at Pets at Home. There are lots of cute rabbits and hamsters. IntoUniversity helped me think about my future.’

Winning Scotland Foundation

The environment in which a child grows up, shapes that young person for a lifetime. Experiences at home, school and in the community, all leave a powerful imprint.

Winning Scotland is a charity that works with like-minded partners to build confidence and resilience in all of Scotland’s young people. The organisation focuses on supporting the people who have the biggest everyday influence on children, like teachers and parents.

Winning Scotland’s programmes seek to develop a culture that empowers young people with mental toughness and strength of character that helps them overcome tough challenges and innovates by testing proven approaches from around the world to improve opportunities for youngsters in Scotland.

Using just one example of Winning Scotland’s work, their ‘Mindset in Education’ programme has helped teachers to infuse thousands of Scottish school pupils with a ‘growth mindset’ outlook: seeking out challenging work to test themselves and learning to persevere to solve problems and worry less about initially getting things wrong.

Find out more about Mindset in Education and Winning Scotland’s fantastic work here:

“We’ve had really positive feedback from the children. We wanted to see an increase in confidence, self-esteem and that ability to bounce back. Now we’re seeing them say things like ‘I’m using my growth mindset today because this is tricky and I don’t want to give up’.”

Clair Harvey, Teacher, Callander Primary School, Stirling

“Growth mindset has made the biggest difference we’ve ever had in our school. It’s shifted the mindset of pupils and staff that we thought were forever fixed.”

Kirsty Small, Deputy Head Teacher, St Paul’s RC Academy, Dundee

“Before I knew growth mindset I didn’t want to try something in case I get it wrong. Now I keep going and never give up.”

Emma, pupil at St Bernadette’s PS, North Lanarkshire