Frequently Asked Questions

We're so glad you want to learn more about the Home School Foundation.

To better serve you, we've tried to anticipate some of your questions below. When you see a question you'd like answered, just click on it - the answer will appear below. Click the question again to close it and move on. If you find that your question isn't listed, feel free to contact us personally via any of the following methods:

Phone: 540-338-8688  |   Mail: PO Box 1152, Purcellville, VA 20134  |  or our in-site Contact Form



    About Us

    • I've never heard of the Home School Foundation. What do you do?

      HSF helps families homeschool through hard times. We minister to the needs of the homeschool community here in the U.S. and around the world. We help families overcome hardships that hinder homeschooling, including widows, single parents, families with special needs children, victims of natural disasters, homeschool organizations in foreign countries, and families facing temporary financial emergencies.

    • How long have you 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 do you help?

      In its first ten years of helping families (1999-2008), the foundation has helped over 3,500 families. Please view 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 Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and the Home School Foundation?

      The Foundation was established by HSLDA in 1995 and functions as the charitable arm of HSLDA. HSLDA continues to provide support to HSF by allocating office space to and sharing some of its staff's time with Foundation operations.

    • 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, we are able to respond to an email more quickly than to voicemail. Of course, you are always welcome to call our office, but the fastest way to contact us is via the contact form.

    • Is HSF a recognized charity?

      We are an independent, 501(c)3, non-profit association, recognized by the IRS as a charitable entity. As a charity, we participate 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?

      Please carefully read the descriptions of each of our funds to see whether you think you would qualify. If you are still unsure or don't see where you fit, contact us via the online contact form with an explanation of your circumstances so that we can help you determine whether you qualify for any of our grants.

      Even if we are not able to assist you at this time, we will gain a better understanding of the needs in the homeschool community so that as God expands our ministry, we will know how and where He's calling us to serve.

    • What should I expect once I send my application to Home School Foundation?

       

      Most of our funds have staggered enrollment periods during which we accept applications. If your application is received outside the enrollment period for that fund, it will be held for processing until the next open enrollment.

      Generally, we begin processing your application within 2-3 days of receiving it. If we notice some of your information is missing (e.g. financial documentation, diagnosis, curriculum needs), we will contact you by mail or email to let you know what we need. Please be prepared to submit additional information if needed.

      Please note: This does NOT include your reference paperwork. You are responsible to make sure your references received, completed, and returned their paperwork to our office.

      All applications for a particular fund are then reviewed together after the enrollment period is ended. You should expect to hear from us regarding the final status of your application 4-6 weeks after the fund enrollment period deadline.

    • How long does it take to process an application?

      Most of our funds only accept applications at specific times of the year. Applicants should expect 4-6 weeks for processing after the fund enrollment deadline is past, assuming that all parts of the application - including references – have arrived in our office.

    • 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 jeopardize 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 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.

    • 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 have chosen not to use faxes because parts of the application are nearly impossible to read through a fax transmission. We require all original documents to be in the office prior to processing an application. To expedite your application, you can scan your completed application and email this document to applications@homeschoolfoundation.org.

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

      The best way to communicate with us is via email through our online contact form. Of course, you are always welcome to call our office, but the fastest way to contact us is online.

    • Can I update my contact information online?

      At this time, you are unable to update your information online. However, you can email us at info@homeschoolfoundation.org and we will update your information.

    • Is there a particular time when you accept grant applications?

      Most of our funds have specific enrollment periods—unless you are experiencing an emergency, one-time traumatic event (such as a fire, flood, tornado, death of a spouse, etc.). Please contact us or check the application information on the various funds to find out what their enrollment periods are.

      We strive to serve each family efficiently and effectively. Our enrollment periods allow us to provide this kind of service.

    • Why do you need references when I want to 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.

    • Why do you require receipts for grants from the Home School Foundation?

      In order to remain in compliance with the requirements of the IRS and our accountability partner, ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability®), it is important that we document the way funds are spent by grant recipients.

    • How do I know if I am required to send in receipts to account for the grant I received from the Home School Foundation?

      Each fund varies in its receipting requirements. Please refer to our fund informational letter and/or to the letter accompanying your grant to find out if you are required to send copies of receipts for items purchased.

    • What does the process look like for recurring help from HSF?

      Some gifts are recurring on a 12 month schedule, some on 24 months, and some are a one-time grant. If you have received a grant from HSF and would like to re-apply, please contact our office with a brief description of your situation. We will contact you regarding your eligibility and the availability of funds.

    • Are donations to Home School Foundation tax-deductible?

      Yes. As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, HSF is qualified to receive tax-deductible donations. A receipt will be issued approximately two to four weeks from the time your donation is processed. Please note that if you are setting up a repeating monthly or quarterly donation, your receipt will be sent in January of the following year.

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

      Yes. You can make your check payable to the Home School Foundation and designate the "Homeschool Freedom Fund" in your memo line. This fund exclusively supports the tax exempt legal work of HSLDA on behalf of homeschooling families. To learn more about the Homeschool Freedom Fund, click here.

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

      Checks can be made payable to "Home School Foundation" and mailed to:

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

      Or, you can donate securely online here.
    • What portion of my gift will be used directly for Home School Foundation's ministry?

      Please view our annual report to see what percentage of donations goes directly to support our various ministries. Because of HSLDA's robust support, HSF overhead costs in 2013 were only 4.4%. All other monies go directly to supporting homeschooling needs.

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

      If you are not sure which fund to pick, we encourage you to make a gift to our Compassion Fund. Our board is authorized to move money out of this fund into other areas where it is 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. HSLDA also offers a curricula market where homeschool families can sell and buy curricula and teacher handbooks. Many families sell their items on the curricula market and then donate the proceeds to the Home School Foundation.

      We also have contact with a ministry called The Book Samaritan which accepts used curricula and then gives it to needy families. Please contact them with your donations: www.thebooksamaritan.com

Phone: 540-338-8688 | Mail: PO Box 1152, Purcellville, VA 20134 | Online Contact Form