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Discretionary Grant

Grants to Dayton Area, Ohio Nonprofits for Community
Benefit, Arts, Health, and Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Dayton Foundation

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to up to $75,000 to Greater Dayton area, Ohio nonprofits for programs and projects that address a wide range of areas, such as social services, the arts, health, and/or the environment. LOIs are due by July 21. Funding is offered for programs, capital projects, and capacity building.

Funding is typically awarded to help launch new projects not addressed by existing organizations, or to support special efforts of already-established nonprofit organizations in the Greater Dayton Region (which includes Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble, and North Warren Counties).

Capacity Building Grants:
To provide for more efficient use of community resources, promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations and reduce theduplication of services in our community. To strengthen not-for-profit agencies and institutions by reducing operating costs, increasing public financial support and/or improving internal management.Projects that build organizational capacity to help the charity to work more efficiently and effectively and to raise more dollars.

Capital Campaign or Capital Improvement Grants: To help an organization expand services and capacity.

Special Projects or Program Expansion Grants:
For funding new projects or initiatives, seed funding for strategic growth, or an expansion of an existing project or initiative to help an organization test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques for solving important community problems. To help launch new projects in established organizations for special purposes, which represent a unique and unduplicated opportunity and meet a significant community need. To promote volunteer participation and citizen involvement in community affairs.

The Foundation gives priority to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

- Provide for more efficient use of community resources, promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations and reduce the duplication of services in our community;
- Test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques for solving important community problems;
- Promote volunteer participation and citizen involvement in community affairs; and
- Strengthen nonprofit agencies and institutions by reducing operating costs, increasing public financial support and/or improving internal management.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165850

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards typically do not exceed 25 percent of a project’s total budget and/or $75,000.

Term of Contract:

Multi-year commitments are rarely considered.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a grant, your organization must:

- Be recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, according to the Internal Revenue Code, and be established for at least two years and have a track record of sustainability;
- Benefit the citizens in the Greater Dayton Region, (Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble and Warren (north) Counties);
- Have a diversity/inclusion policy;
- Demonstrate systemic collaboration; and
- Address needs that are not met fully by existing organizational or community resources.

The Fund will not award grants to the following:

- General organizational operations and ongoing programs, operational deficits or reduced or lost funding
- Individuals, scholarship, travel
- Religious/sectarian causes
- Fundraising drives
- Special events
- Political activities
- Public or private schools
- Endowment funds
- Hospitals and universities for internal programs
- Matching grants (unless local dollars are needed to fulfill a condition for a state or federal grant)
- Neighborhood or local jurisdiction projects
- Newly organized not-for-profit organizations
- Publications, scientific, medical or academic research projects, research papers

Pre-proposal Conference:

To learn more about the grant process, there are two grant orientations offered each year in June and November. The orientation is recommended for all organizations that are planning to apply for a grant; however, it is not required. The grants orientation will have information about the Greenlight Grants and the Discretionary Grants.

The June 1, 2017 grants orientation will take place at Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley beginning at 9:00 a.m. Goodwill is located at 660 South Main Street, Dayton, OH 45402. There is plenty of free parking available by the building. Enter the building through the main doors and the orientation will be in the Jack & Sally Eichelberger Community Conference Center.

Pre-Application Information:

Steps to Apply:

1. Ensure that your organization is eligible to apply for a Dayton Foundation discretionary grant by clicking here:

2. Attend the Foundation’s Discretionary Grant Orientation to learn more about the grant process. Grant orientations are offered twice a year and recommended for all organizations that are planning to apply for a grant. See Pre-proposal Conference section above for more information.

3. Review the Foundation’s guidelines for discretionary grants (see Supporting Documents below).

4. Review the Foundation’s policy for Letters of Intent for Vehicle Purchases (see Supporting Documents below).

5. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI provides the Foundation with an overview of your funding request. Only one LOI per grant cycle is permitted per organization. If, after the Grants Committee has reviewed your LOI and determined that your project falls within the funding guidelines, you will be sent a full grant application.

Click on the link in the Supporting Documents section below to access the LOI form.

Click here to access the Letter of Intent instructions:

Please check back for the next deadline for completed Letters of Intent.

Please Note:
- If your organization has received a discretionary grant from The Dayton Foundation, you must submit a final report on how the grant was used and have it approved by the Foundation’s Grants Department two weeks prior to the LOI deadline before you are eligible to apply for a new grant.
- If your organization is seeking funding for the purchase of a van, bus or other vehicle, please demonstrate in your Letter of Intent, or as an addendum, that you have thoroughly researched and exhausted all other existing community transportation options for your clients.

The Dayton Foundation offers two discretionary grant cycles per year. All applicants are encouraged to attend a discretionary grants orientation.

Full Grant Schedule:

Letter of Intent: January 6, 2017
Full Grant Application: March 24, 2017
Grants Awards Announced: June 8, 2017

Letter of Intent: July 21, 2017, 4:00 p.m.
Full Grant Application: October 6, 2017
Grant Awards Announced: December 7, 2017

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Registration for the Grant Orientation:

Registration for the grants orientation will open two months before the orientation. If you have any questions about the grants process, please contact Michelle Brown at 937-225-9965.

To register for the orientation, please complete this form:

LOI Submission:

After completing the attached LOI form, please email it to Michelle Brown at

Please mail all additional documentation to:

The Dayton Foundation
Grants and Programs Department
40 N. Main Street, Suite 500
Dayton, Ohio, 45423


If you have questions about the grantmaking process, please contact Michelle Brown, program officer, at the above email address or by calling (937) 225-9965.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio: Greater Dayton Region, (Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble, and North Warren Counties)