The Foundation’s Finance Committee meets quarterly in advance of Board Meetings to review contributions received for specific campaigns and programs. The committee evaluates the connection each project has to the Foundation’s mission and recommends grants for approval by the full Board of Directors. The following grants were among those approved by the Board in 2019.

Stowe Gardens

The Palladian Bridge in autumn at Stowe, Buckinghamshire ©National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

$252,500

Royal Oak raised over $250,000, exceeding our goal of $200,000 toward the The Landscape Programme at Stowe. This large and complex conservation project will enable Stowe to have more meaning for a twenty-first century audience by telling the missing stories of returned key statues and monuments, and by interpreting the restoration of the buildings, structures and improvement of landscape features. Repairing the garden buildings and reviving the historic landscape are crucial to the spirit of Stowe and will significantly develop and enhance the visitor experience, contributing to the long-term sustainability of the property.

The Palladian Bridge in autumn at Stowe, Buckinghamshire ©National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Stowe Gardens

$20,600

A private donation was received in the amount of $10,000 each for the restoration of Bell Gate Lodge and Harvest Barn as part of the greater Stowe garden project

Lake District

$88,500

The Royal Oak Foundation has established The Grace and Thomas William Thompson Fund to support the work of the National Trust in the English Lake District, particularly property maintenance (especially of stonework) in the traditional style. Land acquisitions of acreage around current Trust properties will also be supported, as well as being used for work that employs local hands-on crafts people or provides on-the-job training for people learning relevant maintenance crafts.

Mapping NT Sculptures

$20,000

The Royal Oak Foundation received a $20,000 grant from the Kress Foundation toward the mapping the sculptures project. The Trust’s entire holding of some 6,000 sculptures will be comprehensively surveyed, studied and digitally catalogued to make it accessible to both scholarly and general audiences.

By applying new scholarship, it will be possible to make a genuinely new digital resource accessible for learning about sculpture in the collections of the British country house.

Wellington Monument

$20,000

Royal Oak received $20,000 for the restoration of the Wellington Monument in Somerset. The tallest three sided obelisk in the world is currently undergoing a full restoration from top to bottom, including repairing falling masonry and stone, and installing a new pyramidion.

Snowshill Manor and Bateman's

$75,000

Thanks to the generous bequest from a Royal Oak member, two National Trust properties Bateman’s and Snowshill Manor will receive $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Bateman’s is a Jacobean house most famous for being the home of author Rudyard Kipling, while Snowshill is the showcase for the collection of Charles Wade, an architect with a passion for collecting eclectic objects. The funds will be used by the Trust, in both cases, to preserve the collections and enhance the visitor experience.

Sponsored Projects Initiatives

The Royal Oak Foundation adopts a limited number of Sponsored Projects (SP) which are not National Trust properties but whose missions are related to the National Trust.  The Sponsored Projects Program assists these charities with fundraising in the United States and to enable them to offer a tax-deduction to their U.S. patrons without the expense of establishing their own U.S. subsidiaries.

The Royal Oak Foundation does not fundraise for these charitable organizations, and it does not make its own donors available to SPs for fundraising purposes.

The Great Dixter Charitable Trust: $48,800
The Great Dixter Charitable Trust provides continuing and expanding stewardship of the house and garden legacy left by Christopher Lloyd. This grant will be used to take on trainees, to carry out training programs and to undertake garden, buildings and curatorial conservation projects.

The Charleston Trust: $2,300
The Charleston Trust is home to an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and ceramics by the original owners of the house and garden, the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. This grant will provide support for the conservation, preservation and maintenance of the house and collection.