Dayton Foundation Receives $26 Million Bequest

The Dayton Foundation has announced a $26 million bequest — the largest single gift in its 88-year history — from the estate of longtime donor Virginia Bernthal Toulmin.

The gift, which was more than 30 percent larger than anticipated, will be used to endow the Harry A. Toulmin, Jr. and Virginia B. Toulmin Fund, an unrestricted fund that the foundation can use to respond to community needs in the greater Dayton area. Toulmin was the wife of an international patent attorney and daughter-in-law of the attorney who secured and defended Orville and Wilbur Wright's patent for the first airplane. Her success in business and investments after her husband's passing made the gift possible.

"A true philanthropist in every respect, Virginia Toulmin selflessly shared her many gifts with others in need throughout her lifetime," said Dayton Foundation president Michael M. Parks. "This remarkable gift to our community will perpetuate her lifelong passion for helping others and make possible the increasing of the Dayton Foundation's unrestricted grantmaking by roughly $1 million a year to our region's nonprofit organizations and leadership initiatives important to our region's vitality and future."