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Is my organization eligible to apply for a grant?

Before applying for one of The Dayton Foundation’s competitive grant opportunities, please review the following eligibility requirements and grant guidelines to determine if your organization is qualified to apply.

Eligibility Qualifications

To be eligible for a grant, your organization must:

  • be recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, according to the Internal Revenue Code;
  • be established for at least two years and have a track record of sustainability;
  • benefit citizens in the Greater Dayton region, (Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble and Warren (north) counties);
  • demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion in organizational practices;
  • demonstrate systemic collaboration;
  • address needs that are not met fully by existing organizational or community resources; and
  • have submitted the final report for any previously received Foundation Greenlight GrantSM or discretionary grant.

Grant Guidelines 

When awarding a discretionary grant, The Dayton Foundation gives priority to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria.

  • Provide for more efficient use of community resources, promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations, and reduce the duplication of services in our community
  • Test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques for solving important community problems
  • Promote volunteer participation and citizen involvement in community affairs
  • Strengthen not-for-profit agencies and institutions by reducing operating costs, increasing public financial support and/or improving internal management

We generally do not award discretionary grants for:

  • general organizational operations, ongoing programs, operational deficits, or reduced or lost funding;
  • individuals, scholarships, travel;
  • religious/sectarian causes;
  • fundraising drives;
  • special or one-time events, annual fundraising drives, ceremonies, conferences and workshops;
  • political activities;
  • public or private schools;
  • endowment funds;
  • hospitals and universities for internal programs;
  • matching grants (unless local dollars are needed to fulfill a condition for a state or federal grant);
  • neighborhood or local jurisdiction projects;
  • newly organized not-for-profit organizations (less than a two-year track record as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization);
  • publications, scientific, medical or academic research projects, research papers; 
  • art exhibits; or
  • cultural arts productions, with the exception of funding costs associated with creating original works.

In addition, multi-year or large-dollar requests (unless they are initiatives approved by the Foundation's Grants Committee or Governing Board) rarely are considered.

Apply for a Grant

Learn more about The Dayton Foundation’s Basic Human Needs Grants, Greenlight GrantsSM, Discretionary Grants and other grant opportunities available through Foundation funds to help you help others.