Foundation Facts and Recent Accomplishments

The Dayton Foundation has become one of the truly innovative and fastest growing foundations among nearly 800 community foundations nationwide.

As of June 30, 2020, total assets of The Dayton Foundation currently stand at $652.7 million and represent nearly 4,000 donor funds. Last fiscal year, the Foundation awarded $66 million in total grants.


  • The Dayton Foundation was founded in 1921 by Dr. D. Frank Garland, John H. Patterson, Julia Shaw Patterson Carnell and Robert Patterson. (Learn more about our history.)
  • We are a tax-exempt organization that receives and invests charitable gifts from individuals, families, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other foundations. These gifts help to support leadership initiatives in the community and not-for-profit organizations and institutions that meet our community’s changing needs.

Recent Accomplishments

  • In the most recent ranking of nearly 800 community foundations nationwide, The Dayton Foundation ranked:
    41st in the U.S. in grants (total dollars) made
    30th in the nation for new gifts received
    37th in market value of assets
  • Growth in assets from $3.3 million in 1979 to $652.7 million (as of June 30, 2020)
  • Growth in grants and charitable distributions from $4 million in 1980 to $66 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year
  • Second among all community foundations nationwide in the number of charitable funds under management and the number of grants awarded - more than community foundations in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • Nationally certified by the Council on Foundations for organizational and financial practices and has successfully met 43 National Standards set forth for U.S. Community Foundations, and
  • Earned the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations Standards for Excellence certification for rigorous adherence to 56 standards for accountability and ethical business practices.
  • The Dayton Foundation’s federal tax returns (IRS Form 990 for each entity of the Foundation and 990-T) and audited financial statements are available upon request. For more information, contact Steve Darnell, vice president, Finance, at (937) 225-9969.

    Facts About Community Foundations

    • An estimated 800 community foundations in the United States hold combined assets of nearly $50 billion.
    • Community foundations nationwide gave away an estimated $4 billion in grants.
    • Community foundations are the fastest growing organizations in the field of philanthropy.
    • Community foundations are a flexible, yet permanent collection of funds supported by a wide range of donors.
    • Community foundations allow donors to take the greatest tax deduction allowed by law for their gifts.

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    File date: 06.15.21


Fred Setzer

“The Foundation has a unique perspective as a community problem-solver and an ability to bring organizations together to tackle complex regional issues. In many ways, it is the eye of the community. The stronger The Dayton Foundation grows, the stronger our community will be.” – Fred Setzer, Jr., donor and former Governing Board chair

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