Is My Organization Eligible for a Grant?

Please take a moment to review the following discretionary grant eligibility qualifications and guidelines to determine whether or not your organization is eligible to apply for a discretionary grant from The Dayton Foundation.

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 (established for at least two years and have a track record of sustainability) or have a fiscal agent with such status,
  • benefit the citizens in the Greater Dayton Region, (Montgomery, Miami, Greene, Darke, Preble and Warren (north) counties),
  • demonstrate diversity, equity and inclusion in organizational strategic plans, policies or other documents such as an equity statement (For an example, review The Dayton Foundation’s commitment on diversity),
  • demonstrate systemic collaboration, and
  • address needs that are not met fully by existing organizational or community resources.


The 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; and
  • 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 and ongoing programs, operational deficits or reduced or lost funding
  • individuals, scholarship, 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
  • publications, scientific, medical or academic research projects, research papers
  • art exhibits


In addition, multi-year commitments rarely are considered.

Now that you know if your organization is eligible for a Dayton Foundation discretionary grant, learn how you can apply for a discretionary grant or a Greenlight Grant.

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File date: 11.01.23


Tania Arseculeratne

“Organizations planning to apply for a discretionary grant are encouraged to watch our Discretionary Grants Orientation video. 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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