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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Trust for Scotland?

The Trust is Scotland’s largest conservation charity. Founded in 1931, its mission is to protect and promote Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations to enjoy. The Trust cares for 129 properties across Scotland, from the St. Kilda Dual World Heritage Site and Culloden battlefield to Glasgow’s Tenement House and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. It receives no direct government funding.

What is The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA?

The Foundation is the American friends group of the National Trust for Scotland and is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We raise visibility and funds in support of the Trust’s work, encouraging Americans to participate in the conservation of Scotland’s natural and built heritage by becoming members or making a donation to one of the Trust’s priority projects.

Why is The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA headquartered in Boston?

The founders of the National Trust for Scotland were inspired by the model of the Trustees of Reservations, an historic preservation non-profit established in Massachusetts in 1891, and so the American Foundation is located in Boston. Our offices are in Old City Hall, one of the first examples of adaptive reuse of a historic municipal building in the United States.

What is The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA’s position on the Scottish Independence Referendum?

As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Foundation is a wholly apolitical entity. The official statement of neutrality for the National Trust for Scotland states: 

The National Trust for Scotland is a legally constituted charity independent of government. The Trust was established to further its charitable purposes, which are for the public benefit. The Trust is independent of all political parties and will not participate in any activity which furthers the interests of any political organisation or secures or opposes a change in the law for political purposes. No Trustee or employee of the National Trust for Scotland may in this capacity express political views or offer political support for any political party, candidate or politician.

The Trust reserves the right to organise and carry out campaigning activity, including bringing influence and pressure to bear on government, Ministers, politicians, and political parties, or to offer support for specific policies, if this serves our charitable purposes. In such circumstances we will always comply with charity law, civil and criminal laws, and codes of contact as they apply in addition to our fiduciary duties.

We are planning a trip to Scotland. Can you help?

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA focuses its efforts specifically on properties stewarded by the National Trust for Scotland, so we cannot provide general travel advice. However, the Trust offers a number of rental options across its properties, including opportunities to stay in castles and coastal cottages. To learn more, please download the online version of their brochure here. In addition, by becoming a member of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA, you can visit the Trust’s 129 properties for free.

I am seeking information on my family history/genealogy. Can you help?

Ancestry and genealogy-related searches fall outside of our mission, and we are unable to assist with any such inquiries. However, the following organizations may prove helpful in your search:

We wish you the best of luck in finding out more about your family history—maybe you’ll even discover you have connections to some of the NTS’s castles and country houses!

I am an American student looking for a scholarship to study in Scotland. Do you make grants for academic study?

Unfortunately, scholarships fall outside of our mission. However, the following organizations may be of use:

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