Frequently Asked Questions.

How do I contact the Henson Foundation to explore funding opportunities?

Initial contact may be made by phone to the Foundation at 410-742-7057 or email to mail to: donna@richardhensonfoundation.org. If the request fits our scope of interest, a Letter of Inquiry will be requested.

What is the geographic scope of the foundation?

The foundation generally funds nonprofit organizations either located in or providing service to the Salisbury, Maryland area. We do not fund organizations outside of Maryland.

How often may my organization apply?

The foundation will not consider inquiries or applications from any nonprofit more than once every twelve months.

Organizations receiving multi-year funding may not re-apply until the grant is completed.

Can I FAX or email my Letter of Inquiry or Grant Application to the foundation?

Yes. Letters of Inquiry may be faxed to 410-742-4036 or e-mailed to mail to: donna@richardhensonfoundation.org.

Does the Henson Foundation make grants to individuals?

No. In accordance with IRS rules, the Henson Foundation only makes grants to qualified nonprofit organizations for charitable projects. The Foundation will only make grants to nonprofit organizations that are exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that are not classified as private foundations under section 509(a) of the Code.

Does the Henson Foundation make grants for political activities?

No. In accordance with IRS rules, the Henson Foundation only makes grants to qualified nonprofit organizations for charitable projects.

What areas of interest does the Henson Foundation support?

Please refer to Grantmaking tab for more detail.

How do I apply for a grant from the Henson Foundation?

Please review the Foundation’s priorities for grantmaking and your organization’s eligibility. If you believe that your project and organization meet these guidelines, the first step is to submit a Letter of Inquiry to the Foundation. If your project appears to be a viable candidate for a grant from the Henson Foundation, you will receive an invitation to complete a full application.

Specific instructions for your Letter of Inquiry, in addition to the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities, are described below. The Henson Foundation reviews Letters of Inquiry on an ongoing basis.

Letters of inquiry should be no more than two pages and include:

  • An introduction of your organization, its mission, the organization’s headquarters and the areas and numbers served
  • A copy of your IRS tax status determination letter
  • Clearly stated need or problem and description of the project or program
  • Timeline for implementing the project  —  when and where the project or program will occur
  • List other agencies and funding partners, how much funding is raised, how much is in-hand, the amount requested from the Henson Foundation, and specify when and how the funding will be used
  • Provide an office number, including extension, FAX number and E-mail address for the contact person who can best respond to questions about the inquiry. Include the organization’s website address.

If the Letter of Inquiry reflects the foundation’s funding priorities we may request a full application. Applications should only be submitted to the foundation upon request. Unsolicited applications will not be returned. Submission of an inquiry or application should not be interpreted as an indication of likely support.

All letters of inquiry should be directed to Donna S. Altvater, Executive Director, Richard A. Henson Foundation, 200 W Main Street, Salisbury, MD 21801. Letters of Inquiry may be faxed to 410-742-4036 or sent electronically to donna@richardhensonfoundation.org.

Letters of inquiry submission deadlines:

  • Second Monday of every month except August & December

Board Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month except August & December.

  • The Grants Committee will review inquiries and applications (when requested) prior to monthly board meetings to determine if an organization’s mission and programs are compatible with the mission and interests of the foundation.
  • A grant application should not be completed until requested by the Foundation. When requested, please submit one copy of the application and attachments. Include only those materials specifically requested in the grant application.
  • Please do not send the application in a binder or folder.
  • Inquiries should be directed to the foundation office.
  • If the Foundation requests an Application, you will be advised by phone or letter.  Applications must be received by the deadline date of the next monthly meeting.
  • You may receive telephone calls, emails and/or a site visit for clarification of the application.
  • You may be asked to submit additional supporting information.
  • The board of trustees makes the final decision on whether to award a grant, the amount and any conditions for funding.
  • Your organization will receive notification of the trustees’ decision within 72 hours of their meeting.

After submission of a letter of inquiry, you may be contacted to arrange a site visit at a mutually convenient time. The purpose of the visit is to learn more about your organization, to discuss in more detail the grant application, and/or to meet staff and/or clients. It is also an opportunity to answer your questions about the Foundation and its grantmaking process. A site visit is not necessarily conducted for every application and is not an assurance of funding.

If a grant is awarded, your organization will receive written confirmation that the grant was approved.