Applications available May 10 and due June 30, 2021

Eligibility Requirements for Organizations

  • Groups must qualify as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) or equivalent by the IRS

  • Groups must provide services that improve the health, education or 
    welfare of Darke County residents.

  • The following groups are not eligible:

    • Organizations that limit their services to members of any one religious group.

    • Organizations whose primary purpose is to influence legislation, 
      political viewpoint, or promotion of a political candidate.

Available Grants

About 30 organizations will be selected to receive a total of approximately $60,000.
Grant awards generally range from $500 to $2,500.

Selection Process

  • Applications will be reviewed by the Darke County Foundation Board of Trustees.

  • All applicants (recipients and non-recipients) will be notified of results 
    within 45 days of deadline. Recipients will receive payment within 60 days of deadline.

  • If approved grant is one of several funding sources needed to complete a project, 
    payment may be delayed until the Foundation is assured that recipient 
    has secured necessary funding.

  • Recipients must complete final report (provided by the Darke County Foundation) 
    summarizing use of grant funds. Failure to submit report invalidates future 
    requests for funding.

Funds from the Helen L. Hawkey Music Project support music education for Darke County students.

Pictured are elementary school students participating in "Creole for Kids and the history of Zydeco" concert.


J. Michael Beard Community Fund


Mike Beard was an active resident of Darke County, dedicating himself to his family, church, friends, and work at the Darke County Highway Department. Mike was fond of being outdoors, particularly at county or state parks, where he enjoyed hiking, fishing from the family boat, and/or going camping. His family chose to extend his legacy throughout the community via non-profit grants and scholarships through the Darke County Foundation.

Harold and Betty Brewer Community Fund


Through a generous gift in her will, Betty Brewer designated 2 local organizations to receive an annual distribution from an endowment fund at the Darke County Foundation. The Darke County Humane Society and Wayne HealthCare Foundation both receive yearly gifts to help further their efforts in the community.

Michael Crawford Outstanding Teacher Mentor of Darke County


Mike Crawford was a longtime employee of the Darke County Educational Service Center who left a legacy of support for educators and children in Darke County. Due to Mike’s foresight, Darke County had a mentorship program for teachers 10 years before the state of Ohio saw the benefit and mandated such a program for all Ohio schools. Established after his sudden death in May 2002, this fund annually rewards an outstanding teacher mentor in Darke County in Mike’s name.

Darke County Foundation Endowment Fund

For the broadest community support, donors may contribute any amount to this fund that provides grants where they are most needed in Darke County. The Board of Trustees of the Darke County Foundation reviews requests from non-profit organizations to determine where the income from this fund can best serve our community.

Darke County Special Olympics Fund


Hundreds of students and adults with intellectual disabilities participate in activities including basketball, softball, bowling, track and field, cheerleading, swimming, power lifting, and golf. This endowment provides an annual distribution to Special Olympics to help purchase equipment, uniforms, awards and travel expenses for athletes. Special Olympics hopes that other donors will add to this fund so it can continue to assist deserving athletes.


Darke County United Way Fund


This non-profit organization partnered with the Darke County Foundation to establish a long-term investment opportunity that returns a gift to the United Way every year. As a major supporter of many social service agencies in Darke County, the United Way uses its distribution to help meet program needs, or it reinvests the funds back into the Darke County Foundation for further growth.


DeColores Montessori School Fund


This fund provides an annual distribution to DeColores for educational programs, field trips and extracurricular activities for all grades.

Ruth Elaine Furlong Memorial Fund


Keith and Carolyn Furlong of Arcanum established this endowment fund in memory of Keith’s sister Elaine, who died of a congenital heart defect in 1967 at age 16. Keith remembers how the Arcanum community offered his family meals and financial support during his sister’s struggles. Elaine’s courageous life and the generosity of the Arcanum community inspired the Furlongs to start this fund that provides community grants to the Arcanum area.


Zachary Garbig Memorial Fund

Young Zachary of Arcanum suffered from a congenital intestinal disease that required an organ transplant in 1998. Zachary passed away in 1999 at age 11, but his experience gave much needed knowledge to medical professionals for future transplant recipients. Zachary's parents, Phil and Karen Garbig, established this fund to promote organ donation awareness and help others realize the benefit of blessing someone else with health, hope and life.

Grace Resurrection Community Center Fund


This fund provides an annual distribution to GRCC, a social service outreach of about 20 local churches. Programs include a soup kitchen, food pantry, clothing bank and food backpack program for students at local schools.


Helen L. Hawkey Music Project


Helen’s daughter and son-in-law, Joyce and Ken Haraughty, established this fund in memory of this beloved music educator who taught in New Madison and other area schools for more than 40 years. The Helen L. Hawkey Music Project awards an annual grant to a non-profit organization or school in Darke County that provides inspirational music experiences such as in-school enrichment programs, field trips to professional performances, and fees for music workshops.


Hein Family Faith + Justice Initiative

Greenville residents Jonathan and Rose Hein started this fund that supports education, crime prevention and wellness programs based on traditional Biblical principles. The fund assists non-governmental entities in using a faith-based approach for programs like substance-abuse prevention, parenting education and budget education. The fund is also used to subsidize training for peace officer certification for members of the Darke County Sheriff's Auxiliary.

John R. and Miriam H. Knick Community Fund


Given as a bequest through her estate, Miriam Knick started this endowment fund to provide annual distributions to Darke County Center for the Arts and Darke County Historical Society. The yearly gifts enable these local non-profit organizations to improve and expand programs at Greenville’s Memorial Hall and Garst Museum.


Kremer Family Farms Fund


The Rick Kremer family and State Line Agri of Ansonia established this fund for the benefit of Darke County residents and the land on which they live. The fund supports educational programs or events that promote agricultural –environmental awareness, water and soil pollution control, and water and soil conservation. Non-profit organizations that conduct these types of programs are eligible for grants from this fund.


Low Vision Support Group Fund for FAME (Financial Assistance for Medical Emergencies)


In 2006, the members of the Low Vision Support Group donated funds upon disbanding their organization. The annual distributions from this fund benefit FAME (Financial Assistance for Medical Emergencies), which assists Darke County patients with vision needs.


Ami McClurkin Community Fund


Gini and Verd Stuckey of Greenville, devoted parents of Ami, established this fund to benefit non-profit organizations in Darke County. Awards are given out each September at Ami’s birthday celebration. Ami resides at Brethren Retirement Community as a quadriplegic, the result of an auto accident in 1985. Gini remarked, “If we can help someone feel better and enjoy life a little bit more through one of many Darke County organizations, then we’ve accomplished our goal with this fund in honor of Ami.”


William Michael and Caleb Knick Fund for Darke County Special Olympics


Through the estate of Greenville resident William Michael, Darke County Special Olympics receives an annual grant to assist with its expenses. Hundreds of students and adults with intellectual disabilities participate in activities like basketball, softball, bowling, track and field, cheerleading, swimming, power lifting, and golf. Michael wanted to co-name the fund in honor of his caregiver's son, Special Olympics athlete Caleb Knick.


Neff Family Fund for Darke County YMCA


As avid supporters of the Darke County Y, Greenville residents Denny and Shirla Neff established a permanent fund that provides an annual distribution to the Y. The money is designated for structural projects that will improve the operation of the Y facilities.


Mike and Linda Newbauer Companion Dog Fund


Because of the love and companionship her dogs provided, Linda Newbauer established this fund in memory of her husband, Mike. The fund supports training expenses for dogs that assist special needs residents of Darke County.


Oliver Family Fund


Named in honor of the family of Ruby Franklin Oliver and his wife Minnie Wolters Oliver of Coletown, this endowment fund supports community projects throughout Darke County.


Partnering for Progress Fund for Darke County Economic Development


This initiative stimulates new investment and job creation; protects and supports existing employment base; supports the agricultural sector; supports the education and training of existing and future workers; encourages and fosters entrepreneurship; and strengthens the presence of existing business and industry throughout Darke County.


Principal’s Fund for St. Mary’s School


Established in 2018 by Greenville resident Rodney Oda, this fund provides an annual distribution to St. Mary’s Catholic School for student tuition assistance or school needs. Oda attended the school in the 1960s and stayed loyal through many years of volunteer service, including chairman of the finance and operations committee.


Will Robertson Memorial Fund


Will served as a patrol officer for the Versailles Police Department when he tragically lost his life in a motorcycle/car accident in 2003. Following his death, friends raised funds for projects and programs with which Will was associated or would be proud to support, such as the Versailles Bike Safety Rodeo, Camp Bearable’s grief counseling camp for children, and Boy Scouts of America, to name a few.


St. Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery Fund

Upon the closing of this 150-year-old congregation in Willowdell, the church trustees wanted to ensure permanent care of its cemetery. Using the church's remaining assets, the trustees made a donation to the Darke County Foundation to establish a permanent endowment fund in the name of the church. A portion of the fund's investment income is distributed each year to Patterson Township, which uses the money to care for the St. Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery.


Greyson James Steyer Memorial Fund


Matt and Mindy Steyer created a lasting endowment in their infant son’s name following his tragic death. “We wanted to do something for Greyson where his name can live on and bring love, just as he brought so much love to us,” said the Steyers. Greyson’s Fund focuses on improving our community with a primary emphasis on children's projects and activities. “We will be able to keep Greyson's beautiful light shining for all of us to see,” the couple said.


Jean Louise Thieme Children’s Theatre Fund


A lifelong supporter of the arts, Jean Louise Thieme established the Children’s Theatre Fund in 1987 for the purpose of “assuring that the children of this county shall always have the opportunity to experience high quality professional programming.” An annual distribution goes to Darke County Center for the Arts to sponsor children’s programs. One of Darke County’s most generous philanthropists, Jean Louise died in 2009.


W.I. (Mike) and Jean Louise Thieme Community Fund


Mike made a bequest in his will that allowed for the creation of this unrestricted fund in 2018. Using the annual investment income, the Foundation Board of Trustees responds to the changing needs of the community, awarding grants to non-profit organizations that provide valuable programs and services to Darke County residents.


Dr. Marlin D. Thompson Founder’s Fund

Hundreds of Darke County residents donated to start this fund in memory of the educator who founded the Darke County (HOPE) Foundation in 1986. The fund supports scholarships, community grants and special projects in the area of education, which was Dr. Thompson’s passion.


Marlin D. Thompson and Shirley A. Thompson Memorial Fund

Dr. Marlin Thompson, founder of the Darke County (HOPE) Foundation, and his wife, Shirley, left a generous bequest to the Darke County Foundation following the death of Marlin in 2010 and Shirley in 2020. The fund provides annual financial support to Ansonia Schools for the benefit of students with special needs. The Thompsons lived in the Ansonia school district since 1964. Marlin and Shirley were ardent advocates for education, and they were especially encouraging to students who needed assistance due to physical, intellectual or behavioral challenges.  

Ella VanDyke/St. Clair Home Fund for Brethren Retirement Community


In the 1920s, Ella Van Dyke St. Clair wanted to help citizens of Greenville who needed a place to live. In her will, she established the Ella Van Dyke St. Clair Home for the Aged. Over time the intended use of the Home discontinued, and the assets were transferred to the Darke County Foundation. Investment income from this fund is distributed to the BRC Resident Aid Fund, which provides housing assistance to residents in need.


Beth Warner Fund for the Darke Co. Humane Society


Upon her death in 1996, Beth Bolen Warner provided a bequest to benefit the Darke County Humane Society. Mrs. Warner was born in Union City, IN, and resided in Darke County all of her life. She was married to Glenn Warner, who formerly served as the Clerk of Courts for Darke County for 24 years. Mrs. Warner served as the organist at the Presbyterian Church.