ABOUT DARKE COUNTY FOUNDATION
Through gifts from individuals, businesses and charitable organizations, the Darke County Foundation establishes funds that provide scholarships to Darke County students and grants to non-profit organizations serving Darke County residents. Invested long-term, our funds provide a continuing source of funding for years to come.
Donors may support scholarships or community grants by starting a personalized fund or contributing to an existing fund. Permanent endowments allow donors to create lasting legacies for causes in which they strongly believe. Donors may designate a purpose for their contributions, or allow the Foundation's board of directors to determine where the funds could best serve Darke County residents.
Grants from the Darke County Foundation support
educational programming at the Darke County Park District.
History of the Darke County Foundation
In 1986, Dr. Marlin Thompson, Superintendent of the Darke Co. Office of Education, started the HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) Foundation of Darke County, with the goal of establishing a community foundation. With no start-up money, Dr. Thompson sought enough donations to offer a $200 scholarship the first year. The founder's plan and the Foundation's continuing goal is to improve the quality of life in Darke County while helping donors meet their charitable objectives. The Foundation accomplishes this goal by awarding scholarships to Darke County students and grants to local organizations that provide valuable programs in our community.
The first major gift came in 1987 from Greenville National Bank. Over the next few years, many gifts followed, large and small, that were designated for scholarships and community grants. Individuals, families, businesses and charitable organizations have contributed to the growth of the Foundation.
Dr. Thompson said, "I felt there were a lot of good people in Darke County who might want to leave a gift to the community." He met with members of other community foundations for assistance in getting started and appointed 20 board members from different areas of Darke County. While Dr. Thompson retired as Superintendent in 1992, he continued to serve as a HOPE board member until 2005. Dr. Thompson died in 2010.
In 2014, the HOPE Foundation became the Darke County Foundation to emphasize its association with the entire county and to create a better identity with the area it serves. The mission of the Foundation remains the same, serving as a county-wide resource for charitable giving and offering opportunity and "HOPE" to the residents of Darke County.
Staff and Trustees
The Darke County Foundation's 20-member board of trustees works diligently to ensure that each donor’s charitable intent is honored. The members, all from Darke County, bring a broad range of experiences, including law, financial planning, marketing, education, small business ownership and community involvement. Their participation ensures that the Foundation is run efficiently and focused on using resources in the best way possible to enrich the lives of Darke County residents.
John A. Barga
John Marchal, Jr.