Spring 2020

Tips on Charitable Giving: Leaving a Legacy for Good for Greater Dayton

By Michelle L. Lovely, Vice President,
Development and Donor Services

It has never been more evident that Greater Dayton is a philanthropic community than when we stood #DaytonStrong in the face of several catastrophic events in 2019. Throughout these trying times, our community showed how it pulls together when the going gets tough.

These tragic events also highlighted the important role that community foundations can play during challenging times. A community foundation like The Dayton Foundation provides charitable individuals with a vehicle for collective community good. Many donors have created legacy funds that benefit Greater Dayton in perpetuity, with some of them dating back to the Foundation’s establishment nearly 100 years ago.

How amazing is it to think that a donor, who created an endowed fund years ago and has long passed on, will help the victims of the Memorial Day tornadoes simply by having the foresight to leave an unrestricted fund to The Dayton Foundation? By making this important decision, these donors allow community leaders who serve on the Foundation’s Grants Committee to decide how best to use those charitable dollars, based on future community needs.

When you establish a Community Impact Endowment Fund, or an unrestricted fund, you can create an endowment fund for our community and ask The Dayton Foundation’s grants committee to award grants in your name. These funds give The Dayton Foundation the greatest possible flexibility to address pressing community needs. You also may establish a Field-of-Interest Discretionary Fund, which allows grants to be awarded in certain areas of interest, such as feeding the hungry, supporting veterans, educating youth and more.

While nonprofit organizations, their leadership and mission statements may change, your intentions are honored throughout the test of time. Jesse Philips, a former Dayton Foundation Governing Board chair, said it best. “By using The Dayton Foundation, donors can be assured that the funds they donate today are not directed to obsolete or unimportant needs in the future. Donors can give discretionary judgement to people who are on the scene long after we are gone.”

We believe that our job is to listen to our donors and help them give to charities they care about in the most tax wise, efficient manner possible. However, when you look at the astounding amount of money that was awarded last year by funds at The Dayton Foundation – nearly $52 million – only $1.2 million of that was awarded through the Foundation’s discretionary and Greenlight Grants processes. Why? Most of the grants awarded from the Foundation come from Donor-Advised or Donor-Designated Funds. While some donors may not feel they need assistance in determining which charities or causes to support today, it is difficult to know future community needs. Community Impact Endowment Funds and Field-of-Interest Discretionary Funds give donors the reassurance that the Foundation’s staff and Grants Committee – who have a finger on the pulse of the nonprofit community and their needs – can address situations like those we faced in 2019.

To learn how you can establish a fund to help Greater Dayton now and in the future, contact me, Joe Baldasare or Jill Koorndyk at (937) 222-0410.

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Good News is made possible by five Dayton Foundation donors and families who have stepped forward to become the Foundation’s 2019-2020 “I Believe!” Partners. Click here to read their stories.

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File date: 3.20.20
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