The Dayton community has an established reputation for pulling together and assisting one another.

Since 1992, the African-American Community Fund has exemplified the community’s charitable character. As a component fund of The Dayton Foundation, AACF gives donors an opportunity to create a legacy that will benefit the community for years to come. The AACF was founded by and for African-Americans as an opportunity to create a permanent financial resource for future generations.

“With a number of funds, AACF shows that this community is philanthropic and very giving,” says Whitney Briggs, development officer for The Dayton Foundation and liaison to the African-American Community Fund. “It’s essentially a way to encourage members of the African-American community for organized philanthropy.”

Since 1994, AACF’s community endowment funds have grown from 21 to 90. During the same timeframe, the endowment assets have increased from $635,547 to $4,666,028. Grants from all AACF funds since the inception of the fund have totaled more than $3 million.

In 2013, in recognition of AACF’s 20-year anniversary, The Dayton Foundation awarded $100,000 in matching funds to those individuals, organizations or corporations who created a fund with AACF. With the success of the 2013 matching program, The Dayton Foundation awarded another $50,000 in 2014. For donors contributing up to $16,675 or more, The Dayton Foundation will match $8,325 to reach the $25,000 endowment benchmark for the remainder of the year.

For those looking to donate their money to a cause of their choice, the AACF offers a Charitable Checking Account service that allows donors to make grants to a variety of organizations. It’s a simple way to manage day-to-day giving and there is no minimum balance for the account. You can sign-up for a Charitable Checking Account at daytonfoundation.org.

AACF also accepts grant applications from all qualified nonprofits in the Miami Valley Area through its once-a-year discretionary grant application process. The grants are awarded once a year to a variety of organizations, focusing on education, social services, and health and wellness programs. The number of grants given each year varies, however the typical amount ranges from $500 to $1,000. For the past two years, the organization has awarded grants up to  $10,000 each year.

AACF is not just about awarding grants, though. It is also developing its philanthropic legacy through establishing workshops that assist community members with the grant-writing process, as well as identifying potential grants.

“Many nonprofits are kind of holding it together on a shoestring budget, and recognizing that money is available and understanding how to secure it is very important,” says Briggs.

AACF is also extending the grant-writing workshop to high school seniors searching for scholarship opportunities.

“There is a lot of money available, and AACF would like to help people access those funds,” says Briggs.

The AACF annual donor reception is Friday, Oct. 31, at 6 p.m. For more information on the AACF, the services it offers and the event, contact Whitney Briggs at 937-225-9948 or visit daytonfoundation.org/aacf.html.