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Dayton Foundation Assists Charitable Givers And Offers Challenge To Recognize Local Volunteers

Creative Commons/Wikipedia

Year-end is a time when many people focus on charitable giving for a host of reasons, and there’s one organization that’s been helping people make giving decisions for almost a hundred years, the non-profit Dayton Foundation. It’s one of about 880 community based foundations in the country. The foundation assists roughly 3700 individuals, businesses and other organizations in making their charitable giving decisions.


“The common denominator,” says foundation president Mike Parks, “is that people come to us saying, ‘I’d like to do something good’ and they do that through their fund. We help them figure out what it is they may want to do. We might have a scholarship fund, we might have a designated fund to help someone’s church or temple, we might have someone that says ‘I just want to help the environment, or kids.’  Everyone’s different and, through our staff, we find out what it is that the legacy and the commitment, the change that people want to make in the community and we stand side-by-side with them.”

Parks says that among the foundation’s clients are people who have questions about some notable changes in tax law as they relate to charitable giving.  He says his foundation, and the more than fifty financial planners and tax agencies in the Miami Valley can help provide answers.

“Most of us don’t give for tax reasons, right? We give because we care about an organization, a cause, we’re trying to make a change, trying to make it a better place for us, our kids, our grandkids. With that said, everybody wants to do it in the most tax-advantaged way possible.”

The Dayton Foundation not only provides a base of knowledge for charitable givers to draw upon, but they are currently working to highlight individuals in the Miami Valley through their Changemaker Challenge.

Parks says the challenge is an attempt to “pay homage to the countless volunteers throughout the greater Dayton region that, day in and day out, are volunteering their time to make a difference.”

“It might be somebody at a nonprofit you know, it might be someone at your church, at your school, in your community, that you might call an unsung hero - that every day is in the trenches helping, trying to make a difference.”

Parks adds that the challenge is a way to say thanks to the individual for their donation of time and energy, and the winner of the challenge will get to direct a $1000 grant to their charity of choice.


Nominations for the challenge will be accepted through December 7th on the Dayton Foundation website.


Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.