Trusts and Charitable Grants

Trusts and Charitable Grants

Since 1708, when Edward Colston appointed the Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) to manage the Colston’s Hospital Foundation, a number of other trusts are now managed by SMV. By far the largest is the St Monica Trust endowment fund, currently valued at £226 million.

By agreement with the Charity Commissioners the funds of charities too small to be invested separately are held in the Society of Merchant Venturers’ Charity Investment Pool.

In addition to its commitment to caring for the elderly, to education and to youth initiatives, SMV has a tradition of supporting a variety of local causes benefiting Bristol, its people and its institutions. This support is provided by the Society of Merchant Venturers Charity to which members contribute.

For example, it has provided much of the original core funding for the Quartet Community Foundation, formerly the Greater Bristol Foundation, a successful community foundation that now gives away over £1 million a year in local grants. Other recent projects supported include The Matthew, At-Bristol, ss Great Britain, the Theatre Royal and the Empire and Commonwealth Museum’s ‘Breaking the Chains’ educational programme.

Grant applications should be submitted to:

The funds are managed by finance and investment sub-committees, which take professional advice as appropriate.

Since the end of World War II part of the St Monica Trust endowment funds have been held in agricultural estates and commercial properties, which have proved to be a shrewd investment. The estates, which total about 21,000 acres, are managed by SMV’s Estates and Property Sub-Committee advised by the Land Steward as well as the commercial properties with advice from the Managing Agent.