Our Club Foundation

2024 Signature Grant

The Rotary Club of Dayton
was created in 1912 to connect community leaders and make a positive, tangible impact on the Dayton region.  More than 100 years later, that mission continues to define who we are and how we lead.

The Rotary Club of Dayton Foundation is an important strategy to invest in organizations who address critical community needs, provide valuable partnerships, and mirror our Rotary Club commitment to service above self.


Signature Grant Information

  • Focus Area: Mental Health
    • Rotarians worldwide are currently focused on the issues of mental health. We define the term broadly.
    • Examples of proposed plans may include individuals/families impacted by trauma, substance use disorder, preventative care, mental health in special populations (i.e. adolescents, refugees, survivors of domestic violence, Veterans, senior adults), social determinants impacting mental health issues, suicide awareness/prevention.
  • Grant award: $50,000
  • Proposing organizations must be IRS-qualified 501(c)3 entities located in and serving the Dayton metro region
  • Grant funding may used be for a single program/initiative, collaborative (multi-partner) project, or operational support of an organizational project.
  • Formal proposal is required and can be found at the link below
  • Direct questions to Lisa Grigsby lisagrigsby@mac.com or Cathy Ponitz cathyponitz@yahoo.com


Signature Grant Timeline

    • Grant announcement: April 9
    • Grant application deadline: June 13
    • Semi-finalists selected: July 24 (Rotary Foundation meeting)
    • Semi-finalists announced: July 25-28
    • Semi-finalist presentations at Rotary Meetings: August 12 & August 19
    • Finalist selected by: August 28
    • Finalist formal announcement: September 10
    • Finalist check presentation/media event: September 21 @ The Levitt Pavilion

The Dayton Rotary Club Foundation

Serving the changing needs of the Greater Dayton community

The Dayton Rotary Club Foundation was formed by members of Dayton Rotary in 1954 by converting remaining funds ($16,517.00) from an old Dayton Rotary Student Loan Fund.


Become a visible community force to support organizations that demonstrate commitment to service above self, help young people and families in need, improve quality of life and foster a strong partnership with the greater Dayton region

Mission Statement

Provide leadership to leverage the Foundation’s resources as an expression of service to the Dayton region and commitment for the Rotary Club of Dayton


The Foundation is governed by nine Trustees who are elected by the general membership of the Rotary Club of Dayton. Trustees serve three year terms on a rotating basis, with one-third of the Trustees being elected annually. In addition, the President and President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Dayton are ex-officio Trustees. A Trustee is eligible for two consecutive elected full terms. Vacancies between elections may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining Trustees.


Contributions to the Foundation can be designated between the Current Fund or the Endowment Fund. All gifts are tax deductible.

UNDESIGNATED gifts go into the Current Fund and are used in their entirety for local community projects. Day Tens, Birthday and Holi-Day $50 proceeds go into the Current Fund.

DONOR DESIGNATED gifts can go into the Endowment Fund which was begun in 1976 with a bequest from James R. Woodhull. In this case, only the interest is used for community projects. This interest grows annually as more gifts are designated to the Endowment Fund.

The Endowment is managed by the Dayton Foundation, which invests the assets and sends annual income to the Dayton Rotary Club Foundation for use in community projects. The Endowment is presently in excess of $500,000.00.

Grant Application Guidelines and Process


The Dayton Rotary Foundation funding priority is to support proactive and meaningful programs and activities that meet the community needs in the Greater Dayton Region. 

Basic Grant information:

  • Dayton Rotary Foundation Funding Focus (in the Greater Dayton Region)
    • At Risk Populations
    • Education Initiatives
    • Arts and Culture
  • Proposing organizations must be an IRS qualified 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization
  • Grant awards are for $3,000 for a single-year funding cycle
  • Organizations will only be awarded funding every three years
  • Grants should be for program or project not for operations
  • If awarded you agree to post grant recognition on your social media
  • Grant deadlines are: March 31, June 30 and September 30 and December 31    ***NOTE:  WE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR OUR JUNE 30, 2024 DEADLINE DUE TO THE SIGNATURE GRANT.   
  • Grant applications are reviewed the month after the grant deadline
  • Applicants are notified via email by Rotary Executive Director following foundation meeting and a date set for presentation of the grant at a Dayton Rotary meeting
  • A grant evaluation form must be received within three months following the program end to be considered for future grants
    Applications and accompanying documents should be submitted via email to contact@daytonrotary.com


Cathy Ponitz, President
Frank Scott, Vice President 
Frank Scott, Treasurer 
Diane Welborn, Secretary 

Class of 2024-2025

Frank Scott
Rick Thie
Diane Welborn

Class of 2025-2026

Cindy Garner
John Lyman
Cathy Ponitz  

Class of 2026-2027

Matt Jessup
Laura Roesch
Sue Taylor


Clubhouse 39 organizes Dayton Rotary’s major Foundation fundraiser, the Holi-Day $50. The Holi-Day $50 is held each year in December. Each Rotarian is encouraged to purchase their tickets for $50 ($35 for tickets and $15 towards the gift fund. Clubhouse 39 members then shop for gifts that members will be eligible to win if their ticket is drawn and winners get to choose from an array of gifts.

In addition in recent years we have also held a silent auction during this Holi-Day event and also have a 50/50 drawing where half the pot goes to the winning ticket and half to the Foundation.

Fellowships and the Dayton Rotary Foundation

Paul Harris Fellowship

Contributions of $1,000 (or more) to the Rotary International Foundation result in the designation of Paul Harris Fellow. Rotary International uses these donations to fund all the humanitarian and educational programs around the world. The $1,000 amount does not need to be paid in full, but can be paid in “installments” of $100 (or more) per year. In that case the Rotarian will be designated as a sustaining member – Paul Harris Fellow. As a matter of fact Rotary International promotes annual giving to the RI foundation with the slogan “Every Rotarian Every Year”.

J.R. Woodhull Fellowship

In 1976 J. R. Woodhull made a generous bequest to the Dayton Rotary Foundation. Since then the Dayton Rotary has established the J.R Woodhull Fellowship. A contribution of $1,000 (either as a lump sum or in installments over time) earns Rotarians a J.R. Woodhull Fellowship. The monies donated towards the J.R. Woodhull Fellowship are deposited in the Dayton Rotary Foundation Endowment. The interest revenues from this Endowment are used to fund local service projects. Currently the Dayton Rotary Foundation Endowment contains approximately $600,000.

William S. Anderson Fellowship

The William S. Anderson Fellowship was established in 2007 to support Club International Projects (most recently supported the Kenya Project with the Maji Mazuri Center with the end goal of getting orphans out of the slums of Nairobi and Borehole Projects in Nigeria). The International Committee continues to research new potential projects and is working on developing one in Ecuador at this time. The fellowship is completed with a gift of $1,000 can be given at one time or paid over a period of time.

Thomas J. Lasley Education Fellowship

The Thomas J. Lasley Education Fellowship was established in 2016 to support Rotary Club of Dayton education initiatives. The initiatives must have significant and direct involvement by Rotary Club of Dayton members and be of a size and scope that exceed the funding capabilities of the Club’s annual operating budget. Education initiatives and funding requests must be approved by the Rotary Club of Dayton’s Board of Trustees. The fellowship is completed with a gift of $1,000 can be given at one time or paid over a period of time.

For 2019-20, the Foundation only distributed five of the quarterly grants for the year. But with some of those funds we again applied for District matching grants and provided two COVID-19 Relief Grants to Dayton Public Schools.

The first was to help pay for increased printing costs for those students schooling from home in the spring who did not have access to a computer or wi-fi. The second grant was to provide cloth face masks for students and teachers as they return to school this fall