Momentum – Collaboration
Collaboration and uniting community partners for the greater good has been a prevailing theme throughout the Foundation’s history, and fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) was no exception.
As Greater Dayton continued work to rebuild and recover from challenging events that occurred in 2019 and 2020 – including the Memorial Day tornadoes and Oregon District tragedy – efforts ramped up to address the hardships many of our region’s citizens experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. In FY2021, more than $900,000 was awarded from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Greater Dayton, which was established in 2020 in collaboration with the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area and other community partners, to nonprofit organizations responding to the region’s critical needs. To date, more than $2.1 million has been distributed from the fund, which was generously funded by Dayton Foundation donors and caring individuals in the community to help their neighbors in need through the COVID-19 outbreak.
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In addition to spearheading regional, collaborative efforts, The Dayton Foundation partnered with 14 of its community and education foundations to enhance area school districts and award scholarships to their students. In the fall of 2020, many districts had to pivot to accommodate a new learning environment in the midst of a global pandemic. Oakwood Schools Foundation, a component fund of The Dayton Foundation, awarded a $55,072 grant to supply Oakwood Schools with commercial-grade air purifiers for each classroom in the district’s five buildings. The air purifiers, which were purchased and installed at the beginning of the 2021 school year, improved air quality in the classrooms and helped provide an additional layer of protection for students and staff when they returned to in-person learning. Dayton Public Schools Foundation, also a component fund of The Dayton Foundation, made a substantial pandemic-related grant when it awarded $14,000 to the district, helping to purchase Bluetooth headphone sets for DPS teachers to optimize the virtual learning experience for its students.
Dayton Foundation staff, including liaisons Lucy Baker, donor relations officer, and Michelle Brown, director of Scholarships, provide these component funds and their donors with the charitable giving expertise and resources necessary to effectively encourage philanthropy and establish scholarship funds within their respective communities and school districts. This collaborative partnership allows affiliated foundations to take advantage of The Dayton Foundation’s investment management while receiving such services as grant and donation processing, development and marketing support, and much more. More than $1 million in educational grants alone were distributed in FY2021 from these foundations, which are governed by local representatives who have a vested interest in the future of their community and the entire Dayton region, to fund scholarships and support area school districts.
IN THEIR WORDS
“It was crucial for our teachers to connect with students online. It was difficult to get technology in the hands of teachers so as not to disrupt the student’s learning. The grant for the Bluetooth headsets was a huge blessing. The headsets allowed us to get teachers what they needed in a timely manner and provide quality technology to our teachers. We are grateful to the Dayton Public Schools Foundation for supplying us with the headsets, as they helped get us moving during the pandemic.” – Ryan Tait, director of Professional Development and Curriculum for Dayton Public Schools