Origins of the Trust

The Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust was established in 1966 by Gordon Fraser, a publisher of books and greetings cards. While an undergraduate at Cambridge he had started a small publishing business, The Minority Press, and in the 1930s he opened a bookshop and picture gallery in Cambridge. In 1938, unable to find a Christmas card that was both inexpensive and in good taste, he started the card company which bore his name. During and immediately after the war there was little opportunity to develop the Gordon Fraser Gallery, the name by which the company was known. It was only in 1954 that Gordon Fraser was able to devote himself full time to the company and he remained as Chairman until his death in 1981. As well as the production of greetings cards and gift wrap he returned to the publishing of books both through the Gordon Fraser imprint and also the Fraser Press, the latter consisting of fine editions of the classics.

The Trust Today

The Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust was the largest single shareholder in the Gordon Fraser Gallery and when the company was sold in 1989 the funds that were released enabled a much more significant programme of donations to commence. At present donations totalling some £140,000 are made to about 100 charities each year. Recipients must be registered charities but the trustees have complete discretion as to the type of charitable work supported. In recent years there has been some concentration on support for charities working with children or young people and those active in the environment and the arts. There has also been a preference for applications from and for Scotland but not to the exclusion of applications from elsewhere.

The Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Trust's accounts can be viewed at the Commission's website. Applications are considered by the trustees each quarter in January, April, July and October.

Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust. Registered Charity No 260869