Five Ways to Make Your Grant Application Stand Out

1) Know what The Dayton Foundation does – and doesn’t – fund.

The Dayton Foundation funds innovative, collaborate and dynamic community projects that are designed to make a real change in Greater Dayton. We accept grant applications for three funding areas – capacity building, new programs and capital improvements. We do not fund operating expenses.

2) Read carefully, follow directions and edit!

We understand that applying for a grant can be a complicated process. But what you may not know is that our guidelines and questions are carefully crafted to get the specific information we need in order to process your application. Paying attention to these details and providing us with information in our preferred format makes it easier for us to review your application and potentially fund your project. And don’t forget to proofread and edit your application before submitting it!

3) Be clear, and get straight to the point.

Many applicants make the mistake of explaining in detail the community issues they are trying to eradicate, but they aren’t clear about how they are going to solve these issues. Members of our volunteer Grants Committee, as well as The Dayton Foundation’s staff, have a wide breadth of knowledge on pressing national and community issues. We prefer that your responses focus on how your project will help alleviate these issues and how your detailed plans will address them rather than on the issue itself. Ultimately, this will help us see the value of your work and the potential impact of your organization’s project.

4) Give specifics about what The Dayton Foundation’s grant will fund.

No matter how big or small your project, please outline in your application how you will use a Dayton Foundation grant if one is awarded. Be prepared to explain in both the narrative and on a separate budget breakdown page of the grant application what specific items the grant will support. The more detailed the better!

5) Review our guidelines, and contact us BEFORE you apply.

Before getting started on your application, click here to review our grant guidelines. Next, contact Tania Arseculeratne, senior community engagement officer for The Dayton Foundation, to discuss your project at (937) 225-9966 or This is a great opportunity to get her feedback and ensure you’re submitting all of the necessary information for your application. Please don’t hesitate to reach out. She’s very friendly and happy to help!

Want to know more about our discretionary grants process? Attend an upcoming Grants Program Orientation.

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File date: 03.24.23


Barbra Stonerock

“We encourage those organizations planning to apply for a discretionary grant to attend our discretionary grants program orientation. There also are a number of endowed funds at The Dayton Foundation that not-for-profit organizations may apply to for grants. Click here for more information.”
Barbra Stonerock, vice president, Community Engagement, (937) 225-9951

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