General Policy

How we fund. The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation welcomes proposals for permanent, capital projects from non-profit organizations involved in:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Civic and Community Needs
  • Education
  • Environment and Ecology
  • Historic Preservation
  • Social Services and Welfare

In addition, the Foundation may, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, initiate or request proposals for projects or programs consistent with the Foundation’s mission.

Who we fund.  Organizations which are tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and located in and around Richmond receive our highest priority. Organizations having a statewide presence that significantly benefit Richmond and Central Virginia will also be considered.  

How we fund.  Typically, our grants fund not more than 1/3 of a project’s cost. Grant awards are made on a challenge or matching basis. Grantees must meet all conditions stated in our award letter within 12 months of approval, failing which we may withdraw the grant. In the case of a construction grant, we will likely require the commencement of construction before we fund the grant.

Organizations that receive a grant are eligible to apply for a new grant five years from the date of receipt of the first payment on the last grant.

Should the Foundation decline to fund a particular proposal, the submitting organization must wait a full year before a new grant proposal will be considered.

As a condition of funding, the Board of The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation expects that 100% of the grantee's organizational board be contributing to the organization. 


What we don’t fund.  The Foundation will not consider grant requests:

  • to support individuals;
  • to support endowment funds (including scholarship funds, debt reduction, or funding of deficits);
  • to support research;
  • to support general operating expenses associated with on-going programs or activities or other general administrative expenses;
  • to support churches or religious programs without a secular or community service focus; except for the repair of damage resulting from fire, flood or other catastrophe.  Applicants must demonstrate that efforts were made to raise the necessary funds from the congregation and other normal sources of support with little potential of success.
  • from organizations located outside of Virginia;
  • from local chapters of national associations and societies.