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James Russell TraderThe Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites, Inc. was created to provide financial assistance for worthy cemetery projects in the State of Maryland. The Foundation’s mission is to prevent further desecration of endangered historic Maryland cemeteries and to enable positive responses to emergency situations by awarding grants directly to qualified parties.

The Foundation honors James R. Trader, a man with deep roots on Maryland’s Eastern Shore who documented hundreds of cemeteries in Wicomico and Worcester counties and passionately advocated strong legislation to dissuade vandals and protect cemeteries. He served as legislative chair and president of the Coalition to Protect Maryland Burial Sites in the 1990s. In his will, Jim left a portion of his estate for the defense and preservation of Maryland cemeteries.The Trader Foundation for Maryland Burial Sites incorporated in 2015 and in 2016 was approved by the IRS as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Its mission is carried out by volunteer Officers, Directors, and members of the Investment Committee. For further information, contact or Eileen McGuckian at 301-468- 7331.

The Trader Foundation invites applications for grants up to $2,000. The project or program must benefit a specific burial ground within the State of Maryland, and Trader funds must be matched by the grantee. Examples of eligible projects include rescue of an endangered site, gravestone conservation or restoration, documentation, protection of burial site from desecration by nature or by man, cemetery clean-up, and planning for restoration.

Submission Deadlines are January 1 and July 1 of each year.

To sustain this grant program and to supplement Jim Trader’s generous bequest, the Foundation welcomes donations and bequests. Contributions to the Trader Foundation are tax deductible. Send donations to Dave Mills, Treasurer, 210 South Walnut Street, Milford, Delaware 19963-1958.

The application consists of the cover page, proposal narrative, and a maximum of 3 attachments.

Submit both a paper version and a digital version of the application.

The proposal narrative should include:

  • Name of cemetery to be restored or protected, and range of burial dates
  • Description of cemetery, its location and current ownership
  • Brief history and statement of significance of the site or cemetery
  • Description of the project, including timeline and implementation steps as needed
  • Explanation of how this project relates to the applicant’s mission and vision
  • How applicant will preserve the improvement and sustain the outcome of this grant over time
  • Description of community interest and support
  • Background on the need for funds and urgency of the request
  • Budget showing how grant funds will be used
  • Explanation of applicant’s match with cash and/or in-kind services
  • 2-4 current photographs of the property and work to be completed
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