About Us - History
The decision was not a hard one for Charles Dater.
commitment to community had been a core value of the Dater family since
the mid-1800s when the resources of immigrant Adam Dater, Charles's
great grandfather, improved to the point that he could begin sharing his
wealth with those less fortunate than him. Adam's son Gilbert continued
the tradition, and a Cincinnati Public Schools high school is named in
his honor. The life of Charles's father, Charles Henry Dater, ended
prematurely, but he instilled in Charles the concept of sharing one's
good fortune and wealth with others.
Hard work, keen investing,
astute financial management, and a spiraling economy enabled Charles to
grow his assets over the years. Charles established the Charles H. Dater
Foundation in 1985, eight years before his death.
The mission of the foundation is to make grants to non-profit
organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area to carry out projects that
benefit children in the areas of arts/culture, education, healthcare,
social services and other community needs. Many Greater Cincinnati
institutions and charities benefited from his generosity through the
years, both before and after the establishment of the Foundation; but
Charles insisted that his gifts be anonymous and unrecognized.
initial contribution to the Foundation was small, and grants totaled
less than $10,000 in each of the first two years. Subsequent
contributions and successful asset management by the Board of
Directors/Officers grew the asset base to its present level of about $50
million, making it one of the largest private foundations in Ohio.
Some 118 grants totaling $1,499,471 were made in fiscal year 2011-12.
making grants, Foundation directors ask the question, "How many
children will feel the impact our grant?" Directors review more than 500
grant applications annually and about 100 grants. While some large
grants and on-going grants have been made -- over $500,000 to the
Cincinnati Zoo"s Manatee House and the Taft Museum of Art and annual
gifts to a the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library and the
University of Cincinnati, favorites of Charles -- most are small by
comparison to other foundations and they fund the programs of
organizations that may not have sophisticated grant writing
capabilities. The Foundation has awarded more than 2,200 grants totaling
over $35 million to more than 300 different organizations since 1985.
acknowledging Charles Dater"s desire for anonymity, directors of the
Dater Foundation are also mindful that making others aware of Charles'
generosity and continuing work of the Foundation that he established can
encourage the growth of philanthropy in the community. The Dater
Foundation has no full-time staff. Officers and directors take an active
role in the work of the Foundation. Officers perform the work of staff,
including reviewing grant requests, making site visits, monitoring
grant awards, and exercising fiduciary responsibility. Board
members/officers have a wide range of business, financial and community
involvement experience. The Board meets monthly.
is eager to consider grants, but encourages potential grant applicants
to carefully review the Grants section of this web site to determine if
their grant request fits the established criteria.