Philanthropy Magnified 
November 2020
The Power and the Promise of Philanthropy

Our mission to improve the quality of life is supported by the healthy functioning of all other sectors including government.  Solving problems and realizing opportunities are best achieved when philanthropy and government work in partnership to serve communities. All sectors need to come together to devote resources, to create new solutions and to bridge ideological divides. 

I am once again reminded of long standing issues of racial injustice and new health and economic challenges from the pandemic. I look forward to the new potential for working together represented by the recent election resultsThe historic voter turnout indicates that people are engaged and seek to participate.  

During this season of gratitude, I offer my heartfelt appreciation for all that Tompkins County donors give and that mission driven organizations achieve. 
Your Community Foundation and your philanthropy are indispensable tools in the many challenges we all face. I am looking forward to 2021.


Donor Advisor Funds a Tent Rental that Impacts Many

One donor's generosity to pay for a tent rental enabled people to get together outside, to interact from a safe distance, to take books and media, and to enjoy themselves at a time when we all need a little fun. 

Bare Bones Book Sale 2020, Trumansburg, NY

Ulysses Philomathic Library event "Bare Bones Book Sale", was held in early October, supported by a grant from  the Myrtle Dee Nash Fund

The purpose of the book sale was to raise funds, if anyone wished to donate, and to give books for free. Families came, senior citizens, little kids, and a big surprise were several teens arriving after school. All were excited to take and keep any book they wished.
"I am so happy to get books to last me through the winter." 

"I got books for holiday gifts for my friends and family."
Let's cheer for the Myrtle Dee Nash Fund Donor Advisors AND 
for the volunteers at Ulysses Philomathic Library!

Women's Safety/Advocacy: 
Advocacy Center of Tompkins County

COVID-19 Response Fund Grant increases capacity

Did you know, survivor's needs are more complex and 
varied due to the impact of the pandemic?

"Hotline volume increased over 30% in the last few months and 
too many calls are going to voicemail."
-Heather Campbell, Executive Director, Advocacy Center

 The Advocacy Center (AC) needed a hotline system that could work remotely and be able to seamlessly handle more than one call at a time. The Community Foundation grant allowed for an immediate upgrade to answer multiple calls at once.  "The hotline is the primary way that victims of domestic and sexual violence access our services so removing this barrier will make our services more accessible," says Heather Campbell.

The changing needs at AC due to COVID-19 included weekly SANE (Safety, Advocacy, Networking, and Education) forensic sexual assault exams. The pandemic has seen an increase in sex trafficking and sexual coercion, as well. In consultation with Cayuga Medical Center, for safety reasons, AC is not sending staff to the ER but are doing telehealth communication and using laptops for this communication.  Sometimes an Advocacy staffer is with a client for hours using remote tools. 

Thank you, donors, for helping this agency pivot and succeed.

Community Foundation Week 

Community Foundation Week helps to uplift the important role a 
community foundation plays at a local level to help others. 

Make a forever gift - Use FreeWill until 12/31/20 

Join the Legacy Society by earmarking a gift in your estate. This can be a gift from your will, retirement account, a percentage, or specific amount or a residual part of your estate.

Design your philanthropy with an intuitive online service which enables you to write a free, CONFIDENTIAL, legal will with help. See but it is available only until December 31st.

Thank you to each of the 101 Legacy Society members!
Legacy Society Information and List of Members:

Dorothy Cotton was a Powerful Woman
The late Dorothy Cotton

A role model for women, inspiring many to teach and to lead, she often said, "Forward together, not one step back.

Watch a beginning of a documentary, There's your Ready Girl, by PhotoSynthesis Productions and sponsored by donors including the Erin Schlather Fund to see a bit of her extraordinary life and civic engagement. 

There's Your Ready Girl
There's Your Ready Girl
Dorothy Cotton's resume includes, BA in English and Library Science from Virginia State College, Master's in Speech Therapy from Boston University, and three honorary doctorate degrees. She was Education Director, at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, serving on the Executive Team with Dr. Martin Luther King, a recipient of the National Freedom Award, and Director of Student Activities at Cornell University. She led the Citizenship Education Program, publishing a book about their role in the Civil Rights Movement titled, "If Your Back's Not Bent". Her role, as an unsung hero, includes teaching thousands of African American civil rights organizers throughout the south about their constitutional rights, the essentials of voter registration, the philosophy and strategies of nonviolent direct action and the crucial importance of exercising the vote. 

Ms. Cotton died at the age of 88 in June 2018 in Ithaca, NY.

Thank you, Dorothy, for your passion, kindness and work!
Grant Strengthens Public Health 
A grant from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County helped Cayuga Health System expand its COVID-19 testing capacity using diagnostic technology produced by Rheonix Inc., an Ithaca medical equipment manufacturer.
 With the Foundation's grant of $10,000, along with others in the community, the Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory purchased Rheonix's fully automated diagnostic units used for COVID-19 testing. The new technology increased the number of COVID-19 tests the Laboratory can analyze each day and dramatically reduced the wait time to provide precise, next-day test results on whether a patient has the viral infection.     

"Providing patients and their physicians with a quick diagnosis allows for rapid patient management decisions," says Marty Stallone, MD, Cayuga Health System's CEO and president. "Knowing if a patient has the disease or not, means appropriate care decisions can be made. In situations such as childbirth or emergency care, quick test results can rule out the need for isolating a patient with a negative test finding or signal the urgent need for protecting others when a patient has a positive result."

Strong relationships and community networks result in more resilient individuals and caring communities that are better able to weather these challenging times. 

For information on COVID-19 testing at the Cayuga Health Sampling Center, visit or call (607) 319-5708. The drive-through Sampling Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in the parking lot at The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Road, Lansing. Pre-registration for appointment is required.

Let's Talk: Monthly Series Wraps Up
Your connection to local issues and needs 

 Each is 30 minutes, upcoming topics are:  
  • November 18, Let's Talk Workers 
    with Pete Meyers, Coordinator, Tompkins County Workers' Center on what local workers are facing as employment issues during these challenging times. For more information, click here.
  • December 9, TBD
Previous Let's Talk recorded conversations are available:

Dr. Jeffrey Matteson, District Superintendent and CEO Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES. His update on the issues K-12 schools are managing during these challenging times can be watched here.

Liddy Bargar, Coordinator of Housing Initiatives, Human Services Coalition. Her report on the many resources available to assist with housing needs during the pandemic can be watched here

Holly Payne, Coordinator of Tompkins County COVID-19 Food Task Force.  Her update on the many partners involved in a coordinated response can be watched here

Upcoming Opportunities to Connect


The future is uncertain but your gift helps to respond to immediate needs. Celebrate Giving Tuesday by making a gift on the Community Foundation Giving Tuesday page December 1. 

Consider a recurring monthly gift!

GivingTuesday, 24 Hour Online Giving Day 


Community Foundation
Celebrating 20 years of impact