Mary Morton Parsons (1903-1990) was the only child of William Smith Morton, a life-long resident of Richmond, Virginia , and a founder of the Home Beneficial Life Insurance Company. Home Beneficial Corporation was founded in 1899 in Richmond and was acquired by American General Life and Accident Company in 1997.

Through inheritance from her father’s Home Beneficial Life Insurance holdings, the Foundation was established in 1988 by Mrs. Parsons with the assistance of her long-time friend Clinton Webb to support a variety of philanthropic purposes, from the arts to historic preservation to fundamental community needs. Mrs. Parsons honored their friendship by engaging Mr. Webb as the Foundation’s first president, a position he held until his death in 2000.

Board members were appointed to perpetuate the desire and legacy of Mrs. Parsons that we all work together as a community to make the greater Richmond area a better place to live and work and that we preserve the related traditions and history of our Commonwealth.

The Foundation typically issues between $3-5 million annually in grants to support capital projects, mostly on a challenge or matching basis. The Foundation has found that matching grants help organizations raise additional gifts they may not have otherwise received, thus leveraging the impact of the grant to benefit worthy causes. The Foundation has supported capital campaigns of Union Theological Seminary, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and VCU’s Schools of Business and Engineering and Massey Cancer Center. Other organizations in the Central Virginia and Richmond area, and some elsewhere in the Commonwealth, have been assisted in their charitable missions by grants from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation.