March 8, 2021

Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative Seeks New Host Organizations

The Dayton Foundation is inviting area nonprofit organizations to apply to host a Del Mar Encore Fellow, beginning in July 2021. The Request for Proposals, which can be found on The Dayton Foundation website, seeks initiatives that address a significant community issue and would benefit from the leadership of an experienced, older adult professional. Del Mar Encore Fellows are paid by The Dayton Foundation to work part-time on projects for 6 to 12 months. Proposals are due Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

“COVID-19 has changed a lot of how we think about our work and sparked a new approach to the Fellows,” said Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow for Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative. “Prior to the pandemic, Fellows would work one to three years with a single nonprofit. In an effort to create more opportunities for nonprofits to work with highly skilled older adults, the Foundation has revised the program so nonprofits may enlist a Fellow to work on projects as short as six months or as long as one year.”

Since 2017, The Dayton Foundation has deployed nearly a dozen older adults into the community to work as Del Mar Encore Fellows on significant community issues. Their work has led to the creation of new tools, resources and insights, including:

  • A new COVID-19-triggered re-training program for laid-off restaurant workers as personal care aides;
  • Installation of new technology to help low-income older adults have increased access to health care;
  • A report on the prevalence of illiteracy and low-literacy in our community;
  • Increased attention to the digital divide as an impediment to children’s access to learning;
  • Development of new education and employment pathways for early childhood educators.

Organizations that have hosted Fellows to date include the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2; Brunner Literacy Center; Dayton Metro Library; Learn to Earn Dayton, Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging; NCCJ; Preschool Promise; and St. Mary Development Center.

“Having a Del Mar Encore Fellow on your team gives you access to a seasoned, but also objective, professional,” said Celine O’Neill, retired executive director of Brunner Literacy Center. “As an executive director, it is easy to begin to see the world solely within your organizational context. A Del Mar Encore Fellow broadens that context and provides you with other points of view and ways of engaging reality, both within and outside your organization.”

For additional information about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative or the 2021 Request for Proposals, please contact Noreen Willhelm, Senior Fellow, at

About the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative

Since 2017, the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative has been working with nonprofits in the Dayton Region to address significant, emerging issues. Highly skilled older adults, the Fellows, are placed with Host Organizations that recognize the value of experienced workers and have applied to The Dayton Foundation to bring a Fellow into their leadership team to solve a critical community concern. The Fellows also work together to help change the conversation about aging, making presentations to civic and educational organizations about the Del Mar Initiative, and the valuable resource represented by older adults in our community.

About The Dayton Foundation

Established in 1921, The Dayton Foundation is the largest grantmaker in Greater Dayton, exceeding $64 million in grants in fiscal year 2020 (July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020). Since its founding, more than $1 billion in grants have been awarded from nearly 4,000 charitable funds at the Foundation with assets totaling $653 million as of June 30, 2020. For more information about The Dayton Foundation or to follow our 100 Gifts to the Community, visit Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2

The Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 helps older and disabled adults of west central Ohio remain in their homes with independence and dignity. An independent, private, nonprofit corporation, the agency plans and funds services for older persons in Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby Counties. It is one of twelve Area Agencies on Aging in Ohio and part of a national aging service network. More information about the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2 is available at

Learn more about the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative.

^ top of page
File date: 03.11.21


Kathy Stevens

“While my engineering background may seem like a strange fit for this job, it has been a wonderful new challenge for me and has allowed me to use my people, organizational, and strategy skills to help the many older adults in our community, a population that we all are more or less rapidly approaching.”
Kathy Stevens, Del Mar Encore Fellow and retired DoD and GE Aviation senior executive

  • foundation
  • foundation
  • foundation
  • foundation