Six Steps to Give Your Grant Application a Boost

1) Read – and watch!

Before getting started on your application, click here to review The Dayton Foundation’s grant guidelines or watch our orientation video. This is your first step in learning about our eligibility criteria, what the Foundation does and doesn’t fund, application deadlines, funding limits and other relevant information.

2) Talk to us.

After you’ve completed step #1, contact Tania Arseculeratne, senior Community Engagement officer for The Dayton Foundation, at (937) 225-9966 or to share information about your project. Regardless if you’re a previous grant recipient or new to our process, we encourage you to reach out. This step is a great opportunity to discuss your project in detail, ask questions and ensure you have all of the necessary information and documentation for your application. Please don’t hesitate to call or email. Tania’s happy to help!

3) Take your time, and read carefully.

Our application checklist and submission guidelines are carefully crafted to assist you in submitting the necessary information to process your application. Make sure you review all the checklist boxes. For example, an organization’s equity statement/policy/commitment is different from its diversity, equity and inclusion form. In addition, make sure to submit not only your board members’ names, but also their terms of office and if they are receiving any compensation. Carefully reading all the submission guidelines will help you provide what is needed for the review.

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

Many applicants make the mistake of not reading the questions carefully or not answering the questions fully. Some questions contain multiple sub questions. It is important to answer all of these sub questions rather than trying to focus on just one or two. Since our questions have a character limit, be clear and concise. No need to use elaborate words, adjectives and longer sentences. Instead, try to provide as much as information about the project in as few words as possible.

5) Edit and proofread – then read it again.

Once you have answered all of the questions, read the full application from start to finish. See if you sound repetitive, have answered all sub questions and can edit your responses to be more concise and informative. It might be helpful to have another staff member or friend who is unfamiliar with the project read your application and provide feedback. Please check for grammatical and spelling errors. For some, it might be easier to first type your responses in a Word document and then edit and proofread prior to copying them to the actual application.

6) Make sure you include all documentation before hitting “send.”

Once you’ve completed these steps, it’s time to submit! Email all the required documentation and application to Tania Arseculeratne at The application must be saved as a separate document, with the required documentation combined into one file or attached individually. To ensure you include everything in the email, it might be helpful to attach all the required documentation in the order of the checklist. Most importantly, do not forget to attach the application! (Yes, it happens.) Finally, make sure to use the correct subject line as suggested under the submission guidelines. This will help our staff easily recognize an application and categorize it correctly.

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File date: 03.24.23


Tania Arseculeratne

“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.”
Tania Arseculeratne, senior community engagement officer, (937) 225-9966

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