Grant Guidelines

The Charles H. Dater Foundation, Inc. wants to make the process of seeking financial support as easy as possible for organizations.

Please read this document before starting the Grant Request/Application process. The information and guidelines will help applicants understand the Foundation's background and grantmaking priorities, thereby improving the likelihood of approval for some and saving valuable time for others whose application is not aligned with the Foundation's grantmaking focus.


The Foundation was established in 1985 by fourth-generation Cincinnati businessman and philanthropist Charles H. Dater (1912-1993) to ensure that funding for worthwhile community programs that enrich the lives of children would continue after his death as well as to preserve the memory of the Dater family name.

Charles Dater was the great-grandson of Adam Dater and the grandson of Gilbert Dater. His father Charles Henry Dater died when Charles was only 17 years old, and he was thrust into helping his mother with management of the family's holdings at an early age. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati and earned his M.B.A. at Harvard University. When his mother died, his full-time focus became the family's investments and residential land development in Western Hills. He lived modestly throughout his lifetime and wanted no recognition for his philanthropy.

The $40-million Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in Greater Cincinnati and is governed by a five-person Board of Directors. The Foundation has no full-time staff and does not direct programs. Officers and directors take an active role in the organization's work, reviewing grant applications, making grant awards and evaluating results, and monitoring investments and the financial performance.

Grantmaking History

The Foundation has made over 2,700 grants totaling more than $41 million to a wide range of non-profit organizations. While some grants have been significant in size, the median grant is $10,000 and the average grant is about $14,000. The Foundation awarded grants totaling $1,953,746 in 2015-16. 

Grantmaking Focus

The Foundation makes grants to private, non-profit organizations and public agencies in Greater Cincinnati for programs that benefit children in the region in the areas of arts/culture, education, healthcare, social services and other community needs. Greater Cincinnati is defined as the eight-county metropolitan area made up of the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont in Ohio; Boone, Kenton and Campbell in Northern Kentucky; and Dearborn in Indiana. The Foundation does not make grants to individuals, for scholarships for individuals, for debt reduction, and, with rare exception, for capital fund projects.

Grants are usually made for one year and subsequent grants for an extended or ongoing program are based on an evaluation of annual results. Multiple grants to an organization in the Foundation's same fiscal year (September through August) are possible, but rare. The Foundation looks favorably on applications that leverage a grant to seek additional funding and resources as well as an organization's effective use of volunteer resources. The Foundation's directors/officers regularly evaluate the grantmaking focus and priorities based on an assessment of current community needs and available resources.


The Grant Request/Application process requires a minimum of 30-60 days from the time an application is received until a grant request is approved or declined. Note that the Grant Request/Application form asks the date by which a funding decision is requested or needed. Directors/officers meet monthly to evaluate grant applications. Once an application is approved, funds are dispersed to the grant recipient organization in about two weeks.

The Application

Grant applications are to be made through the Foundation's online grant application process.  Click here.

Persons with questions about the process may call Grants Coordinator Beth Broomall at 513/241-2658 or email her at

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