Arts Taunton Grant-Making Policy

Executive Summary:

The purpose of this grant making policy is to:

  • Outline principles of grant making adhered to by ArtsTaunton
  • Articulate those principles and our criteria for grant making to potential grant applicants
  • Provide a standard of grant making practice for ArtsTaunton

A grant is defined as a financial award made by ArtsTaunton from its funds to support charitable activities, to registered charities or charitable community groups, or to other eligible bodies or individuals.


As an umbrella organisation and facilitating body, our funding mission is to strengthen and enrich Taunton Deane and surrounding communities by opening doors to leverage funding, and inspiring, managing and directing philanthropy so that it has the most impact in the area of the arts.


  1. We aim to engage local, national and international philanthropists in a meaningful relationship with our local community so as to deliver the greatest impact on the arts.
  2. We aim to help Taunton Deane and surrounding communities become innovative, cohesive and sustainable in the sphere of the arts.
  3. We aim to be collaborative and seek to work in partnership across the county to improve Taunton Deane’s arts provision.
  4. We aim to encourage and support innovation, therefore our grant-making may be reactive or innovatory, and as a co-transformer or enabler.
  5. We aim to act with integrity and professionalism at all times.

Any grants awarded will be:

  • Subject to the availability of funds – and it must be noted that ArtsTaunton will not normally hold large amounts in reserve and may therefore have to decline applications on this criterion alone.
  • Informed by local information and local consultation
  • Targeted to meet community arts needs, priorities and aspirations
  • Meeting the needs of our geographical reach ie Taunton Deane and surrounding areas
  • Responsive to the wishes of donors
  •  Focused to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness
  • Implemented, monitored and evaluated to ensure optimum achievement
  • Supporting new or existing community arts activity in-keeping with our requirement to demonstrate charitable purpose and public benefit
  • Decided upon and managed according to demand and availability of resources
  • Mindful of the wider context eg similar initiatives


The trustees will proactively look for opportunities to attract potential and current donors.

The trustees will consider responsive as well as proactive funding and will therefore accept unsolicited applications.

At board meetings, the trustees may engage additional people to join discussions when considering field of interest or eligibility.

The board of trustees has ultimate responsibility for all grant-making decisions in line with ArtsTaunton’s charitable purposes and any restrictions agreed with donors and funding partners.

The trustees reserve the right not to approve any recommendation or nomination if, through its decision-making, it determines that the resulting grant would not be charitable, or would conflict with ArtsTaunton’s stated policies or damage its reputation.

The trustees will seek to ensure that the finances of the submitting organisation are in order, or there is an appropriate plan in place.

The trustees will look for honesty and openness from grantees to create a strong working relationship.

Any funding grants made will be listed in the annual accounts.

Whether or not a grant is awarded, the trustees will consider whether or not they can offer to applicants/grant recipients any additional assets eg knowledge base, contacts, and experience.

Who can apply?

We will consider a wide range of organisations or individuals involved in the arts, and may partner with other charities to co-fund or pump-prime initiatives. A strong relationship to/interest in our geographical area (Taunton Deane and the surrounding areas) is essential, and only written/emailed applications will be considered. Ability to deliver public benefit will need to be demonstrated by the applicants.

You do not have to be a registered charity to apply, but the work you ask us to support must be legally charitable. You must be able to explain what you will do with the grant, who will benefit and how you know the work will make a difference to the intended beneficiaries or cause.

When will you know of our decision?

We will aim to let you know as soon as possible, but need to allow for the next board of trustees’ meeting which may be several weeks away.

Applications for funding will be assessed against:

  • Impact on the arts in our geographical area, in line with our own charitable purposes.
  • Value for money
  • Evidence of need
  • Management and governance
  • Community involvement
  • Lasting benefit
  •  Risk assessment on a case-by-case basis.

Due diligence:

We will ask for references and expect to carry out checks to assure ourselves that:

  • the organisation is reliable and competent to carry out the activity being funded
  • the organisation is suitable for our charity to work with and fund
  • we will be able to check and confirm that your charity’s funds have been properly used in line with its purposes
  • we have identified and managed any potential exposure to risks such as fraud or financial crime
  • there is a match between the applicant’s aims and our charity’s purposes and interests
  • equal opportunities and safeguarding procedures are in place as appropriate
  • if your organisation is not a charity, the grant must be restricted; only costs that are directly connected to carrying out the activities we have agreed to fund will be covered; and we cannot fund the core costs (eg office or staff costs), or overheads, of a non-charity.

In all cases a written agreement and interim and final monitoring checks, evaluation and impact assessment will be put in place, in line with our own best practice and any donor requirements.

Breach of terms and conditions:

In the event that ArtsTaunton considers an organisation has breached terms and conditions, we reserve the right to request the return of the total grant awarded. Changes to terms and conditions may be implemented by ArtsTaunton at any time. All agreed changes to the terms and conditions will be recorded.

V1 28 Nov. 16