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Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.


Last Updated: 2016-05-11

At A Glance

Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc.

60 Jesup Rd.

Westport, CT United States 06880-4311

Telephone: (203) 222-6222


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $518,141,399

Total giving: $21,962,003






Incorporated in 1935 in NC - Founded by H. Smith Richardson and his wife, Grace Jones Richardson. H. Smith Richardson was the son of Lunsford Richardson, who created Vicks VapoRub, which revolutionized the treatment of colds. Lunsford marketed his pharmaceutical discovery under the name of Vicks. In 1898, he founded the Lunsford Richardson Wholesale Drug Company and seven years later, he founded Vick Family Remedies Company, dedicated to selling twenty-one Vicks products. In 1907, Richardson became a sales manager in the company and eventually became a partner, changing the name to The Vick Chemical Company. He launched Vicks VapoRub successfully to South America and the European continent, transforming the company into a world-wide medicinal empire.

Purpose and Activities

The mission of the foundation is to contribute to important public debates and to help address serious public policy challenges facing the United States. The foundation seeks to help ensure the vitality of social, economic, and governmental institutions. It also seeks to assist with the development of effective policies to compete internationally and advance U.S. interests and values abroad. This mission is embodied in their domestic and international grant programs.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Direct Service Grants

The program provides support to a number of direct service organizations each year. Preference is given to local organizations active in Connecticut and North Carolina, particularly those that provide support to disadvantaged children and families. Applicants for direct service grants should prepare a short, 2- to 5-page letter describing the organization and any particular program for which it seeks support.

Domestic Public Policy

The program supports projects that will help the public and policy makers understand and address critical challenges facing the U.S. An overarching goal of the foundation's grantmaking is to support projects that help stimulate and inform important public policy debates. To that end, the foundation supports research on and evaluation of existing public policies and programs, as well as projects that inject new ideas into public debates. A group of grants is focused on the challenges of identifying mechanisms that can inform thinking on fiscal practices at the national, state, and municipal levels. In terms of human capital development, the foundation has been supporting work to identify how schools can become more productive by, for example, increasing the quality of the teacher workforce or adopting more effective curricula. The foundation is building a portfolio of projects on post-secondary education and is supporting work on the criminal justice system that will examine whether costs can be lowered while still protecting public safety.

International Security and Foreign Policy

The objective of the program is to assist the U.S. policy community in developing effective national security strategies and supporting foreign policies. The foundation is committed to supporting projects that help the policy community face the fundamental challenge of ensuring the security of the U.S., protecting and advancing American interests and values abroad, and enhancing international order. Within this broad mandate, the International Security and Foreign Policy Program has a number of priority areas of interest. The foundation seeks to define and analyze important new challenges and opportunities in today's security environment. The challenges include the new dangers posed by global terrorism, weapons proliferation, and rogue states. The opportunities range from the potential to improve the effectiveness of U.S. military forces through defense transformation to prospects for advancing democracy and the rule of law. The foundation provides support for projects that develop recommendations for U.S. strategy and policy toward important regions and countries, including Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia. Within the academic community, the foundation supports policy-relevant strategic studies and underwrites historical research with clear implications or lessons for current policy.

Fields of Interest

  • Economics
  • Education
  • Foreign policy
  • Higher education
  • International relations
  • International studies
  • Political science
  • Public administration
  • Public affairs
  • Public policy
  • Social sciences
  • University education
International Interests
  • Asia
  • Europe
  • Middle East
Population Groups
  • Academics

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $518,141,399 (market value)

Gifts received: $2,454,000

Expenditures: $29,286,751

Total giving: $21,962,003

Qualifying distributions: $26,659,518