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March 30, 2010 : Dayton Daily News, © 2010 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.. Reprinted with permission.
Foundation: Dayton Tops U.S. in Number of Charitable People

Philanthropy in the Dayton area remains strong despite the death of such major benefactors as Oscar Boonshoft and Virginia Kettering.

As of June 1, 2009, The Dayton Foundation had 3,135 funds and future gifts, a number of donations President Mike Parks said is the highest in the country.

“There’s 700 community foundations in the country, and there are zero that have more charitable people than Dayton, Ohio,” Parks said. “Not Chicago. Not New York. Not Los Angeles. It’s not the largest in terms of dollars, but it’s the largest in terms of number of people.”

Parks admits the stock market’s fall hurt corporate giving and donations to charitable organizations, but there are positive signs regarding individual giving.

In an eight-month fiscal-year comparison from July 1, 2008, to March 1, 2009, Parks said The Dayton Foundation received $4.3 million in new funds. From July 1, 2009, to March 1, 2010, it received $5.5 million.

“The charitable DNA of individuals in our community hasn’t changed,” Parks said. “It doesn’t take away from the hurt that some of the nonprofits are having, but we are not doom and gloom. We are very optimistic where the future is concerned.”

Karen Levin, executive director of the Dayton-based Levin Family Foundation, said the foundation is working with the groups it is already funding but not committing to new projects.

“It’s hard to decide who is worthy and who isn’t worthy. The problem is they’re all worthy,” Levin said. “We have to be more critical in the way we evaluate things.”

Boonshoft, who died March 22 at age 92, was estimated to have donated more than $60 million to the local community.


Also read "Philanthropists Come From All Walks of Life" in the Dayton Daily News.

From the Dayton Daily News of March 30, 2010.
© 2010 Dayton Newspapers, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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File date: 03-30-2010
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