With a business focused on retail banking and SMEs, our community investment is focused on local organisations, reflecting our local footprint.

We provide charitable grants through the Santander Foundation, support students via Santander Universities and under Santander Breakthrough facilitate SMEs to grow. In 2012 we contributed £19.5m to good causes in the UK supporting education, employment and enterprise.

An outline of our main community investment programmes is detailed below, and further information is available in our CSR Report.

Santander Foundation

The Santander Foundation was set up in 1990 and to date we have donated over £40 million to charities throughout the UK. Central Grants of up to £10,000 are provided to organisations with charitable status that benefit disadvantaged people within two categories: education & training and financial capability. Our other grants scheme, Community Plus, provides up to £5,000 to charities that help local disadvantaged people and these can be nominated by staff, customers or even the charities themselves.

Santander Universities

In 1997 Santander Universities was  launched with the aim of contributing to the development and prosperity of society by providing support to the higher education sector. Since its creation, over £500 million has been donated globally via scholarships, travel grants, support for special projects, academic and non-academic awards.

The programme was launched in the UK in 2007 and in just four years 66 universities have become partners of Santander Universities. Today, over 1,020 universities around the world are part of the Santander Universities network and the group continues to increase its long-term commitment to higher education.

Santander Social Enterprise Development Awards

SEDA was set up to support growing social enterprises in the UK, to help them achieve their business goals and support employment, regeneration and local economic growth.

Social enterprises are asked to provide details of their growth potential, and their plans to increase their impact in one of the following areas: creating employment or training, a greener environment or improving social inclusion. Prizes of up to £50,000 are available for businesses with a turnover of up to £1 million.

Since its launch in 2012, 75 winners have been chosen, representing a broad range of industries, impact areas and business size. As part of the awards winners have access to a free programme of business support to help them maximise their growth potential including advice from specialist consultancy Inspire 2 Enterprise, fully funded internships and mentoring from Santander's SME banking teams.

Santander Community

Employees at Santander raise significant amounts of money every year for charities across the UK, and last year over £1.8 million was donated through their efforts and matched by Santander. To support and encourage them we run a Charity of the Year scheme and this year we aim to raise over £800,000 for CLIC Sargent. Santander also participates in the Payroll Giving scheme to enable employees to make a monthly donation to charity directly from their salary.

Santander also supports staff volunteering through a matched time scheme where we give up to 35 hours a year of paid work time to enable employees to help their favourite causes.  Through our Community Days scheme, staff are encouraged to take a day out from the office to volunteer with a local cause. In Every year over 1,500 employees support around 150 projects across the country, working on conservation & regeneration projects and educational schemes with schools.

We have a long-term partnership with British Heart Foundation, supporting the charity's cycling events programme to encourage people to improve their health and raise funds for vital research into heart disease.