From the President: Partnering for Progress
Over the years I’ve talked about the valuable community-service roles that The Dayton Foundation plays in the region. Among these is to encourage the establishment and preservation of charitable dollars for current and future needs. While community investment remains central to The Dayton Foundation’s mission, we know that it takes much more than financial resources to effect change for the benefit of Greater Dayton. It takes leadership and community-wide collaboration.
The Foundation alone doesn’t have the answers to solve the region’s most pressing issues. We do, however, serve as a connecting force to amplify the work being done by others. By leveraging our years of experience and knowledge with a wide network of fund holders, nonprofit partners and volunteers, we can make a difference. Together we convene task forces, develop pilot programs and launch community initiatives, all of which can lead to better solutions.
You don’t have to look far to witness the power of collaboration in Greater Dayton, particularly in the efforts and initiatives that the Foundation has played a key role in making possible. A prime example of this is Dayton Crayons to Classrooms (DC2C). DC2C started as a leadership initiative in 2008 to provide free school supplies to teachers with students who cannot afford essential tools for learning, such as pencils, paper and notebooks. For more than 18 months, over a dozen committed individuals and organizations, including representatives from the Mathile Family Foundation, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley and The Dayton Foundation, worked together to take the idea of a free store for teachers from a concept to reality.
“...it takes much more than financial resources to effect change for the benefit of Greater Dayton. It takes leadership and community-wide collaboration.”
Next year marks DC2C’s 10th anniversary as a stand-alone nonprofit that has provided $16 million in school supplies to benefit students in 100 area schools to date. We are thrilled about the impact this effort has made towards advancing the educational success of our region’s children. And, it all started thanks to a group of concerned citizens, organizations and community leaders who put their skills to work finding an answer to a growing dilemma.
As you read in the article on the front cover of this newsletter issue, The Dayton Foundation will be exploring programmatic collaborations with the University of Dayton’s Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and the Dayton Development Coalition as part of our office relocation plan. The unique strengths that each organization brings have the potential for developing a deeper, more impactful community-university partnership to connect our missions to benefit the entire community.
One topic of mutual concern is the disparity of equity. I’m very encouraged by the initial dialogues involving more than a dozen representatives from private, nonprofit and government organizations on how best to address racial inequity and to foster community-wide inclusion. It is a conversation that needs to be continued. While we don’t have all the answers, we know that through partnerships we can accomplish so much more than any one group can do alone. We’re excited about this work and look forward to sharing more about this effort in the future.
We are continually humbled by the good work of our fund holders and their choice to facilitate their giving, no matter how large or small, through the Foundation’s charitable services. Their compassion and commitment to helping others inspires us every day. One such individual is Don Ambrose, president of Del Mar Healthcare located in San Diego, California, and advisor to the DMH-Fund of The Dayton Foundation.
Two years ago we announced a $1 million gift from the DMH-Fund to launch the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative, a three-year pilot program to tap into the skills, experience and knowledge of our region’s older adult population and help move the needle on nonprofit initiatives and programs. We’re so pleased to share on page 7 that the DMH-Fund and Don Ambrose have generously awarded a second $1 million grant to extend the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative. We are simply thrilled to accept this grant and sincerely thank Don and the DMH-Fund for their vision, support and generosity. Thank you! ❧
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