Dayton Foundation: Discretionary Grants

The Dayton Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $75,000

Next deadline: Mar 20, 2020 1:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Jul 10, 2020 1:00pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Oct 2, 2020 1:00pm PDT (Full proposal), Jan 10, 2021 1:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Ohio: Darke County, Greene County, Miami County, Montgomery County, Preble County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Discretionary Grants

We award grants to a full spectrum of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organizations – from social service to the arts to health and the environment – based upon worthy community efforts and the greatest community need. Generally grants are awarded to help launch new projects not addressed by existing organizations or to support special efforts of already-established not-for-profit organizations in the Dayton Region. The programs we consider for discretionary support are located primarily in Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble and Warren (north) counties.

The Dayton Foundation has designed a streamlined process to help you apply for a discretionary grant. The size and number of grants awarded varies for each grant cycle. This is directly related to the amount of money available and the restrictions our donors place upon the use of certain funds. Additionally, grant awards typically do not exceed 25 percent of a project’s total budget and/or $75,000.

What We Fund

Capacity-Building Grants

To strengthen not-for-profit agencies and institutions and provide for more efficient use of community resources, promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations while reducing the duplication of services in our community.


  • Technical support to explore significant collaborations or mergers with other not-for-profit organizations
  • Community needs assessments
  • Impact studies
  • Marketing studies and surveys

Capital Campaign or Capital Improvement Grants

To help organizations expand services and capacity.


  • Capital campaign projects, including the purchase of real estate, construction, renovation and furnishings
  • Software for development/fundraising programs
  • Hard goods, such as special equipment, a bus, or a walk-in cooler (Find the policy here.)
  • Office relocation expenses
  • Technology upgrades (Discretionary grants do not fund computer hardware, such as desktop computers or printers.)

Special Projects or Program Expansion Grants

For new projects or initiatives, to seed funding for strategic growth, or for an expansion of an existing project or initiative. Additionally these grants help an organization test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques for solving important community problems.


  • Educational efforts
  • Computer literacy programs
  • Artistic residencies
  • Urban redevelopment projects
  • Youth mentoring expansion
  • Diversity projects

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • 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.
  • In addition, multi-year commitments rarely are considered.


  • 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 not-for-profit agencies and institutions by reducing operating costs, increasing public financial support and/or improving internal management.


  • We generally do not award discretionary grants for:
    • 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