Frequently Asked Questions

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    About Us

    • Who is HSF and what does it do?

      HSF helps families homeschool through hard times and promotes homeschooling in the U.S. and around the world. The most common way we do this is through grants to homeschooling families to help them overcome the financial hurdles of purchasing school books and resources. We work with widows, single parents, families with special needs children or difficult financial situations, victims of natural disasters, military families, and homeschool groups both at home and abroad.

    • How long has HSF been around?

      Originally established in 1995 to advance homeschooling through support groups across the nation, HSF began directing its resources directly to needy families in 1999.

    • How many people does HSF help?

      Annually, we assist nearly 1,000 families and groups with grants for educational purposes. Read our  annual report for information on the number of families helped and the dollar amount of grants given out in our last fiscal year.

    • What is the relationship between the Home School Foundation and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA)?

      The Foundation was established by HSLDA in 1995 and functions as the charitable arm of HSLDA, which in turn continues to provide support to HSF by allocating office space to and sharing some of its staff's time with Foundation operations. All donations in support of the tax-deductible litigation and education work of HSLDA and its Generation Joshua wing are processed and receipted by HSF.

    • What is the best way to reach Home School Foundation staff?

      The easiest way to communicate with us is through our online contact form. Generally, our small staff are able to respond to these emails more quickly than to phone calls and voicemails, as not all staff are on site at all times.

    • Is HSF a recognized charity?

      Yes, HSF is an independent, 501(c)3, non-profit association recognized by the IRS as a charitable entity. As such, it participates in the Combined Federal Campaign under the umbrella of Christian Service Charities.

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    • I'm homeschooling and in financial need, but I'm not sure that I qualify for any of the listed funds. What should I do?

      Read the descriptions of each of our funds to understand the eligibility requirements and decide which one(s) may be options for your family. The Widows Fund allows you download an application the first time you apply; for all other funds, fill out our online Prequalification Questionnaire to see if you are eligible to apply now or in the near future.

      If you are still unsure, contact a Grant Administrator via the online contact form with a brief explanation of your circumstances. We may ask you a few questions to better understand your situation and guide you to the best fund.

    • Can I apply anytime?

      It depends on which fund you apply to. Visit our Get Help fund pages to see when funds enroll.

      If you are applying for the first time to the Widows Fund or Emergency Response Fund, you may apply any time. All other funds and repeat applicants have set enrollment periods throughout the year.

    • The fund I want to apply to recently closed. What should I do?

      The fund will reopen within a couple months for the next enrollment period. Once you have filled out a Prequalification Questionnaire, contact us early in the next enrollment period, since funding may be limited and is given on a first-come, first-serve basis. To see if you may be eligible to apply to a different fund, fill out our online Prequalification Questionnaire.

    • I think I qualify for more than one fund. Which one should I apply to?

      Fill out our online Prequalification Questionnaire so that our staff can guide you to which fund will be the most advantageous to your family and send you an application to that fund.

    • What should I expect once I submit my application?

      We will keep you informed of the status of your application. We will email you when we receive it, when it is reviewed, if documentation is missing, when forms are sent to the references you provided (if applicable), when your application is complete, when it is formally approved, what is the amount of the grant, and when your grant check has been mailed.

      The entire process usually takes a couple of months.

      Please note: if your fund application requires you to provide the contact information for one or two references, we will email them a form to complete and return to us. You are responsible for making sure your references received, completed, and returned their paperwork to our office.

    • How long does it take to process an application?

      Once we have received a complete application with all required attachments and the reference forms have been returned to our office, it takes 4-6 weeks for applicants to receive their grant checks in the mail.

    • Why do you need financial information when I apply for funding?

      We need financial documentation to have an understanding of your financial situation and level of need. Providing this information is also the only way we can meet the expectation of accountability held by donors, auditors, the ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability®, and the IRS.

    • Will my Home School Foundation grant affect my SSI benefits?

      Generally, an HSF grant should not affect your SSI benefits because the Social Security Income calculation is affected by earned income. Home School Foundation grants are gifts, not earned income, and therefore do not have to be reported as income.

      Home School Foundation is not a provider of legal advice, and this information is not designed as legal advice. For specific legal advice regarding your particular situation, please consult an attorney.

    • The grant that I received is smaller than the funding request on my application. Why?

      We are entirely donor-supported, mostly by individual homeschooling families who care about fellow homeschoolers in hard times. We are only able to give out in grants as much as we receive in donations from these generous, hard-working families.

      Grants through some of our most common funds, such as the Kids Curriculum Fund, tend to be smaller because of how many families apply for help through these funds.

      We fund as much of your request as we are able with the donations we have. If you were granted less than you requested, it is because that is the maximum amount we can give out while still budgeting for our other applicants.

    • Do I have to report the Home School Foundation gift on my tax return?

      No, you do not need to report an HSF grant on your tax return. Home School Foundation grants are not earned income. 

      Home School Foundation is not a provider of legal advice, and this information is not designed as legal advice. If you need specific legal advice regarding your particular situation, please consult an attorney.

    • I understand you give grants to some homeschool groups. How do I find out if my homeschool group is eligible and for what kind of things are these grants given?

      Annually, HSF offers grants to homeschool groups that are registered Discount Groups with HSLDA and have at least 25 HSLDA member families.

      If your group falls into this category and you have never received a grant application from us, please make sure that HSLDA has your group's current contact information and that the contact person on file is aware of the grant opportunity. Please visit HSLDA's Group Discount website to update your group's contact information with HSLDA or to talk to them about becoming a Discount Group.

      These group grants can be used for a multitude of things for your group. All uses need to be for tax-exempt purposes such as field trips, a newsletter, science equipment, graduation ceremonies, libraries, etc.

      We are sometimes able to offer grants to groups that do not fall into the Discount Group category, which we handle on a case-by-case basis. If your group has a pressing need, feel free to send a proposal describing the need via our online contact form

    • Can I fax my grant application to HSF?

      We do not accept faxes. Please scan, email, or mail your application and documents to us using the contact information provided on the application.

    • What is the best way to reach Home School Foundation staff?

      The best way to communicate with our staff is through our online contact form or by emailing info@homeschoolfoundation.org. You may also reach us by phone, and we will return you call as soon as we are able. Please note that during the busy summer and fall seasons, it may take several business days to return your call due to high call volume.

    • Can I update my contact information online?

      At this time, you are unable to update your information online. However, you can contact us and we will update your information.

    • Why do you need references when I apply for a grant?

      We require references to assure that we are being good stewards both to God and to our donors. Your references attest to your circumstances, your character, and your level of need. The type of reference(s) we need vary by fund.

    • What do I need to do after I receive a grant?

      Within 45 days of the date on your grant award letter, please send us the signed statement at the bottom of your letter accompanied by receipts showing how the grant funds were spent.

      If you will not have receipts for longer services such as therapies and lessons within 45 days, please email a Grant Administrator at info@homeschoolfoundation.org to let us know when we should expect your receipts.

    • May I reapply for a grant?

      Yes, families are welcome to reapply for a grant one year after their last application. To be eligible to reapply, families must have sent in the signed statement and receipts documenting how their prior grant was spent.

    • Are donations to Home School Foundation tax-deductible?

      Yes. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, HSF is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations. We will mail you an acknowledgement for your donation within approximately one week of receiving your gift. In January, we will mail you a year-end statement receipt for all donations received in the last calendar year.

    • Can I make a tax deductible gift to support HSLDA's legal work through the Home School Foundation?

      Yes. Gifts designated for the Homeschool Freedom Fund support the legal and educational work of HSLDA on behalf of homeschooling families and are tax-exempt. To donate to the Homeschool Freedom Fund, click here.

    • How can I make a donation to the Home School Foundation?

      Donate securely online or send a check, money order, or credit card information to:

      Home School Foundation
      P.O. Box 1152
      Purcellville, VA 20134-1152

      Make checks payable to the Home School Foundation.

    • What portion of my gift will be used directly for Home School Foundation's ministry?

      In the last fiscal year, the Foundation raised over $2 million. More than 94% of every dollar we receive goes to program services.

      Please view our annual report for more details on our revenues, expenses, and various funds.

    • I'd like to make a donation where it's most needed. Which fund should I pick?

      Gifts to our Compassion Fund are used wherever they are most needed.

    • After I make a donation, when can I expect a receipt?

      Donation receipts are typically mailed two to four weeks from the time your donation was processed. If you did not receive a receipt, please don't hesitate to contact us by email at info@homeschoolfoundation.org or by phone at (540) 338-8688. Please note that if you give to the Home School Foundation multiple times within a year, whether through an automatic monthly debit or otherwise, you will also receive a end-of-year giving summary in January.

    • Can I donate new or gently used curricula to Home School Foundation to be given to needy families?

      We are not able to accept curriculum donations because of our limited space and resources. However, you may find a local group in your area who knows a family in need.

    • What information do I need to give my employer so they can match my gift to HSF?

      Employers often need our name, address, and Federal Employee Identification Number (commonly known as an organization tax ID number):

      Home School Foundation
      1 Patrick Henry Circle
      Purcellville, VA 20132
      Federal Employee ID Number: 52-1354365

      If your company also requires a copy of our IRS Determination Letter, documenting our status as a charity, please contact us directly.

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