Scott Behnken

Family inspires local professional to help others

Similar to his great-grandfather, who built bridges to make traveling easier, Scott Behnken, president of Behnken Financial Services, helps his clients connect their financial goals to strengthen their security for the future.

A lifelong area resident and fourth-generation entrepreneur, Scott is instilling in his children and grandchildren the same charitable-giving values his parents passed on to him, because he says it’s the right thing to do.

Q: What inspires you about this community?

A: This is my backyard, so to speak. I’m comfortable here. I was born and raised in Montgomery County. My father started Behnken and Associates in 1959. I began my career in the financial services business right out of college and started my own business at the age of 20. It’s a great place to work and raise a family.

Q: What or who has influenced your desire to give both your time and dollars to charity?

A: My parents grew up during the Great Depression. Giving back was part of their belief system. Growing up, I remember they always would put a donation in the church collection plate. No matter where we were, even if it was just a road trip, we’d go to church on Sunday, and they would put something in the collection plate. It might have been only $5 or $10, but it showed me that you give what you’re comfortable with giving, as long as you help others.

Q: Why is helping others so important to you?

A: It’s the right thing to do. Mom and Dad both encouraged my three brothers and me to share our blessings with others. Every year our family gives a donation for a scholarship to a Brookville High School graduate so that he or she can attend college. We established it in my father’s name. My parents also created a deferred fund in their names through The Dayton Foundation that one day will be advised by my brothers and me.

I also have established funds at the Foundation to perpetuate my family’s tradition of giving. In addition to my Charitable Checking AccountSM (CCA), I have several deferred, endowed funds, which one day my three children will advise. How my kids choose to award grants from the funds will be up to them. This is an important experience that I hope they will continue by involving their children sometime in the future.

Q: You have been a strong advocate for The Dayton Foundation. What has impressed you the most about the organization?

A: I like the consistency of The Dayton Foundation. It’s been in our community for 96 years. We’ve had some longtime businesses move out of Dayton. With all the uncertainty in the world and even in our community, it’s good to know that the Foundation is here for good. It was established for the community by the community. It’s a strong organization and does a good job. It’s important that people know this.

I also like the concept of community foundations and that the money, for the most part, benefits Greater Dayton. I encourage clients to use the Foundation, because it makes lives simpler and is a good resource for charitably minded individuals, particularly individuals who wish to continue their giving after their lifetimes.

Q: As a financial advisor, what advice do you give to others about giving?

A: Charitable giving can be a fun and fulfilling process. Showing clients how they can be creative with their financial plans by including charitable gifts through The Dayton Foundation helps them give to causes they care about, reduce estate taxes and even increase the value of their estates. The CCA service, in particular, makes giving so easy, as do many of the services and funds available through the Foundation.

Also, if you want to leave a legacy after you’re gone, establishing a deferred Foundation fund can give your gift a longer life by supporting your favorite nonprofit organizations in perpetuity.

Q: What advice do you have for others?

A: I’m not a fan of the word “someday.” It’s a dangerous word. Before you know it, that day is gone and you never accomplished what you had hoped to do. When I hear my friends using this word, I encourage them to make “someday” today. I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and traveled to exotic locations like Africa. I want to make the most of my life now, not “someday.”

Q: How would you complete this sentence, “My giving makes me feel____”?

A: Valuable. It fulfills a desire in me to help others.

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The Dayton Foundation has been helping people help others since 1921 by managing charitable funds, awarding grants to nonprofits and launching community initiatives. Contact the Foundation at (937) 222-0410 or visit