What We Fund

From helping to expand services and organizational capacity, to funding special projects and capital campaigns, Dayton Foundation discretionary grants help nonprofit organizations make a greater impact in our region.

Capacity-Building Grants

These grants strengthen not-for-profit agencies and institutions and provide for more efficient use of community resources.

They also promote coordination, cooperation and sharing among organizations while reducing the duplication of services in our community.


  • Community needs assessments
  • Impact studies
  • Marketing studies and surveys

Capital Campaign or Capital Improvement Grants

These grants help organizations expand services and capacity.


  • Capital campaign projects, including the purchase of real estate, construction, renovation and furnishings
  • Software for development/fundraising programs
  • Hard goods, such as special equipment or a walk-in cooler
  • Office relocation expenses
  • Technology upgrades (Discretionary grants do not fund computer hardware, such as desktop computers or printers.)

Special Projects or Program Expansion Grants

These grants support new projects or initiatives and provide seed funding for strategic growth or for the expansion of an existing project or initiative. Additionally, these grants help an organization test or demonstrate new approaches and techniques for solving important community problems.


  • Educational efforts
  • Computer literacy programs
  • Artistic residencies
  • Urban redevelopment projects
  • Youth mentoring expansions
  • Diversity projects

This past year, The Dayton Foundation and its fund holders granted more than $124 million to charitable organizations locally and around the world, the most awarded in any year in our organization’s history. Since the Foundation's founding in 1921, more than $1.28 billion has been awarded. Learn more about the impact our donors are making in their community in the Foundation’s annual Report to the Community.