FAQ's

What is the Carnegie UK Trust?

Who was Andrew Carnegie?


Why is the Trust based in Dunfermline?

Can I apply for a grant from the Trust?

What is the Carnegie UK Trust's Charity number?

What is a Royal Charter?

What is the purpose of the Trust?

What does the Trust plan to do to fulfil this purpose?

How does the Trust spend its money?

Where does the Carnegie UK Trust get its money from?

What countries does the Trust cover?

How is the Trust governed?

How is the Trust managed?

What is the Trust’s connection with the Carnegie libraries?

How can I work for the Trust?

What is the Carnegie UK Trust?
The Carnegie UK Trust is a charity founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1913.  It was the last of the Trusts and Foundations he established. There are some twenty trusts, endowments and institutions endowed by Andrew Carnegie in the UK and Ireland, the USA and across the world.

Who was Andrew Carnegie?
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835. He was the first son of William Carnegie, a linen weaver and local leader of the Chartists (who sought to improve the conditions of working-class life in Great Britain), and of Margaret Carnegie, daughter of Thomas Morrison, a shoemaker and political and social reformer.

William Carnegie's handloom business dwindled in the wake of industrialisation, and in 1848 the family emigrated to the United States, settling in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. There, at the age of 13, Andrew began his career as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory. A voracious reader, he took advantage of the generosity of an Allegheny citizen who opened his library to local working boys. Books provided most of his education as he moved from being a Western Union messenger boy to telegraph operator, and then to a series of positions leading to the superintendent of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

While still employed by the Railroad, Carnegie invested in a new company to manufacture railway sleeping cars. From there, he expanded his business ventures to encompass the building of bridges, locomotives and rails. In 1865, he founded the first of his many companies, the Keystone Bridge Company, and in 1873, the first of his steel works.

In 1889, he wrote “The Gospel of Wealth” in which he boldly articulated his view that the rich are merely “trustees” of their wealth and are under a moral obligation to distribute it in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man. Carnegie was a prolific writer, but the quotation for which he is most famous comes from “The Gospel of Wealth”: “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.”

Carnegie’s steel company prospered, and when Carnegie sold the company to J.P. Morgan in 1901, the Carnegie Company was valued at more than $400 million. Andrew Carnegie was then the richest man in the world.

By the time of his death in 1919, Andrew Carnegie had given away about $350 million, but the legacy of his generosity continues to unfold in the work of the trusts and institutions that he endowed.

Edited from The Carnegie New York Corporation website

Why is the Trust based in Dunfermline?
Dunfermline, as Andrew Carnegie’s place of birth, has always been at the heart of the network of the UK’s Trusts.  He chose the town for the first of his free public libraries.  The Carnegie UK Trust shares the same building as Carnegie’s Dunfermline Trust, Hero Fund Trust and Universities Trust

Can I apply for a grant from the Trust?
No. The Trust is not a traditional grant making trust. The Trust is now an “Operating Trust”, using its resources to undertake active policy research and develop practical approaches to delivering changes to benefit the people of the UK and Ireland.

What is the Carnegie UK Trust's Charity number?
The Trust is a registered Scottish Charity, under The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. Our charity number is SC 012799. The Trust has a Royal Charter granted in June 1917.

What is a Royal Charter?
A Royal Charter is granted by the sovereign of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the advice of the Privy Council as a way of incorporating a group into a public or private organisation. The Privy Council reports Royal Charters dating back to the 13th century. At the time, the granting of a charter was the only way of incorporating an organisation. Less than 1,000 organisations operate under a Royal Charter in Great Britain.

What is the purpose of the Trust?
Andrew Carnegie set the Carnegie UK Trust up to “improve the wellbeing of the masses as they change from time to time”.  This gives the trustees a broad and flexible operating remit that has allowed the Trust to adapt continually to develop approaches that meet the needs of the time.

What does the Trust plan to do to fulfil this purpose?
The Board of the Trust has agreed a Strategic Plan 2011-2015 which gives details of our policy and practice work.

How does the Trust spend its money?
Each Carnegie Trust and Foundation uses its money in different ways to fulfil the remit set for it by Andrew Carnegie.  Some years ago, the Carnegie UK Trust moved from being a grant-making body to an “operating trust” model, investing through its own teams to develop policies and deliver programmes in areas of public life identified by its Trustees.  The Trust also supports initiatives through its Carnegie Challenge to promote debate on issues to try to get groups and communities thinking about the issues that matter to them.

The main themes the Trust will focus on over 2011-2015 are:
People and Place 
Enterprise and Society
Knowledge and Culture

Where does the Carnegie UK Trust get its money from?
The Carnegie UK Trust was endowed with money by Andrew Carnegie nearly a century ago.  That money has been invested and carefully managed over the generations so that income from it can pay for the Trust’s operations.  The Trust is a Scottish registered charity and its trustees are answerable for the way that the money is spent in accordance with the Trust’s remit and charitable purposes.

What countries does the Trust cover?
We work in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

How is the Trust governed?
The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees. They have the power to establish sub-committees to oversee more detailed aspects of the work. The names and biographies of the Trustees are on the website.

How is the Trust managed?
The Trust is managed by a Chief Executive appointed by the Board of Trustees. The name and biography of the Chief Executive and Staff are on the website.

What is the Trust’s connection with the Carnegie libraries?
The Trust was set up to take forward the work that Andrew Carnegie had already begun, to pay for the setting up of Libraries.  The first Carnegie library – in Dunfermline – was opened in 1883; with a further 295 libraries (often badged as Free Public Libraries) established across the UK and Ireland up to 1913 when the Carnegie UK Trust was founded.  By the mid 1950s, when the programme came to an end, there were 660 Carnegie libraries paid for by Andrew Carnegie directly or by the Carnegie UK Trust and handed over to their local communities.
 
How can I work for the Trust?
The Carnegie UK Trust advertises any employment opportunities widely including on the website.  The Trust seeks to be an equal opportunities employer. See our recruitment page for the latest vacancies.