Filling out your grant application

All applications must be submitted online through our website.

Please read about our types of grants, our priorities for grant-giving, the geographical area of benefit, and the activities we can’t support. You can also read case studies about how other projects and groups have used our grants.

There is normally a cap of £30,000 on most awards, so if you’d like more than this, please call the Grants Team on 01789 207114 before you apply.

If you are interested in making an application for a capital project (building or equipment) please read the Trust's guidelines Guidance on capital grants from STT and be aware that these types of applications can take longer than usual to process so allow for this when deciding which round to apply in.  Please note that if you are awarded a grant for capital, be it for a piece of equipment or for building work, this is a restricted grant and you may not change the item or building project in any way without the written permission of the Town Trust.

If you want to apply for more than one year's funding, you must contact the Grants Team to discuss your project at least three months before the closing date of the round in which you wish to apply.

We don’t normally consider more than one application from the same project or organisation per year; this means that if you apply in Round 1, you will not be able to apply again before Round 1 in the following year. Think strategically about your needs and co-ordinate your application with any other bodies that raise funds for you, such as 'Friends' or appeal committees. It is important that you apply in good time before your project starts, as we do not fund retrospectively, and also bear in mind that your application may be deferred until the following grants round if the Trustees require additional information to make their decision. Think about when you would like your project to start, your available funds (including your reserves and fundraising) and the timing of any applications you will be making to other funders.

The Trust operates a multi-year funding policy, which applies to organisations which have had a Programme grant over 3 years, or to organisations which have had grants, whenever awarded, for at least three successive years of their project. If an organisation has received grants for 3 years, their application will not be prioritised as highly as those organisations applying for the first time or which have not yet had 3 years’ funding. This policy does not mean that organisations which have had grants over 3 years will definitely not receive a grant in the 4th year, but that is a possibility, or the grant awarded might be considerably less than in previous years. The fact that you have received a grant from the Trust in the past does not necessarily mean that you will be successful in the future. The value of a grant awarded to an organisation in any given year depends on the size of the total discretionary grants budget; the quality of the project being applied for, and on the number, quality and monetary value of other applications submitted to the Trust.

If, following three years of grants, there is a break in an organisation's funding from the Trust , the organisation is then ‘reset’ at Year 1 in the following year. If, however, the organisation does receive a grant – even a reduced grant – this counts towards the number of successive years’ funding and means that the organisation will continue to remain a lower priority for funding.

The Grant Application Review Process

The Grants Manager reviews all the applications. We’ll often contact you to discuss your application or visit your project or group before making a decision. The review helps to:

  • Clarify what the project is about
  • Discuss what the Trust would want from the project and any concerns we have
  • Cover anything that may not have been brought out on the application form

After this, our Grants Manager will make a recommendation to the Grants Committee (made up of our Trustees), which will then usually make a decision on your application at their next meeting. Any exceptional or very large grants are decided by the full Board of Trustees, based on a recommendation from the Grants Committee. The decisions of the Trustees are final and the Trust does not hear appeals on grant decisions. All rejected applicants are given a reason for their rejection and the majority of applicants are welcome to reapply in a year's time.

For an overview of our process please click here.

Help and Advice

WCAVA (Warwickshire Voluntary  and Community Action) offers free help to people applying for a Stratford Town Trust Grant. This includes advice on finance, project planning, governance and where to look for funding. Please contact the  Groups Funding & Development Office on 01926 413611.  If you are seeking funding for a new project, or if you are looking for a grant of £10,000 or more, we suggest you contact WCAVA before filling out an application.

If  you have a query regarding your application that WCAVA is unable to answer then please  contact the Grants Team by e-mail;  or phone 01789 207114.

Our top tips for a successful application

  • Your project must primarily benefit residents of the town of Stratford upon Avon.
  • Your organisation must have a documented form of governance. Ask WCAVA  for help if you are not sure whether your organisation meets this standard.
  • Answer the questions fully. One sentence answers are not sufficient, even for Fast Track applications.
  • Avoid using jargon and any acronyms must be explained.
  • Your application must be complete which means, for example, that any venues needed to deliver the project have been secured subject to funding;  partner organisations know all about the project and their role in it and a project delivery plan, full proposal and all your supplementary information is  delivered to us before the grants round closing date.
  • We will need a signed copy of your latest financial accounts, a budget and quotes for key items of expenditure plus any policies relevant to your application. If your financial accounts are over a year old, we may ask to see your management accounts, including a balance sheet.
  • You can email information that is not uploaded onto the application form to before the closing date. Please ensure that any files you send are compatible with MS Office.
  • We expect you to have other sources of funding for your project in addition to the Town Trust. This may come from your own reserves, current fundraising activities or applications to other grant-making bodies.
  • Ask someone else to read through the application before you send it. What seems obvious to you may not be so to another reader.
  • Think carefully about when you submit your application. Depending on when you send in your form, it can take up to 7 months to receive a decision and, if you are successful,  another 2 months for you to return the Grants Conditions Form and for us to process your grant payment. The decision on your application may be deferred until the following grants round, but you will be informed if this is the case with your application. You will usually hear the outcome of your application 10 weeks after the grants round closing date.

If you haven't been successful

If your application isn’t successful we will explain why. Applications usually fail mainly because they:

  • Fall outside the Trust’s area of benefit. The Trust exists to support people living in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. People working or studying here may also benefit under certain circumstances;  use our postcode checker to see if you qualify.
  • Don’t fit with our strategic priorities.
  • Don’t demonstrate that they will complement and work with existing projects without duplication.
  • Don’t show that they will be sustainable in the long-term, or the project is likely to become dependent on the Trust for funding
  • Are too expensive with little or no collateral.
  • Don’t convince the committee of the need for the project
  • Don’t show how the wider town community will benefit, or don’t include enough of the local community
  • The organisation has received significant funding from the Town Trust over many years.
  • Appear to have poor governance or internal control.
  • Are too risky.
  • Don’t supply enough information to reach a decision.
  • Have a high level of reserves without a good reason.
  • Are asking for funding for something it isn’t reasonable to expect a charity to fund.

The Town Trust receives many applications and it is not possible to fund every group or project. Even with a high quality, eligible project, you may still be unsuccessful . You are advised to explore a variety of sources of funding. 

See what the Trust will not fund here