Philanthropy Magnified Impact Report
September 2020
Your Donations Create Community Impact
COVID-19 Response Fund Grants Analysis

Since the start of the pandemic more than $1.5 million has been
distributed in nearly 160 grants to support our community's recovery. 

In this newsletter we bring you just a sampling of the many reports of real difference made possible by your contributions to our community. You will learn of results in social justice, housing and child care. We have many more wonderful stories and would be happy to share them with you. To learn more please email Chief Impact Officer Janet Cotraccia at

A Social Justice Grant Report

"Streets Like This" 2020

One of Civic Ensemble's core programs is the ReEntry Theatre Program, comprised of people who have experienced incarceration or court involvement. 

A grant from Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund was used to support their production of Streets Like This hosted online, as well as the work of the ReEntry Theatre Program to finish drafting a new play exploring mental health.  

Excerpt from Civic Ensemble's report to us

"We meet weekly and create new theatre exploring the lived experiences of those who participate. This grant enabled us to maintain programming in the ReEntry Theatre Program, even after we had to cancel our live production of Streets Like This in March  The cast members were disappointed to cancel the production, but the move to host the show online allowed them the opportunity to share their work with the community and be in dialogue about the content.

Theatre allows us to not only name the world, but imagine possibilites and enact them. We are learning that we have the capacity to boldly state our mission in the world, and that abiding by our values might ruffle feathers, but will open great doors of opportunity. We are committed to anti-racism, to supporting BIPOC artists and community members, and to working from our values of transparency, patience, and humily to build inclusive and responsive work. "
A Housing Grant Report

Funds awarded from the Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund and from a donor advised fund were used to expand INHS' (Ithaca Neighbor Hood Services) technology infrastructure in order to support a remote workforce amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The award funded expenses including printers and computer monitors; webcams, headsets, and microphones; and video conference and document e-signature software.

Excerpt from INHS' report to us

"When the New York State on PAUSE Executive Order went into effect, INHS quickly took action to transition to a remote workforce. While some of INHS' services were deemed essential and could safely continue, like property management maintenance requests, other programs and services needed to pivot to offering services virtually, including lending, home ownership counseling, and processing rental applications. INHS understood that the despite the PAUSE, low-income families would continue to need access to affordable rental opportunities, and many families would still be pursuing home ownership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many things, not the least of which is that housing is undoubtedly a matter of public health. During a time when staying home was the best thing we could do for both our individual well-being and for the health of our larger community, the need for access to safe, quality, affordable housing for all people became clearer than ever.

Without this adaptability on the part of INHS and its funders, the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program would not exist today to help the many Tompkins County families in crisis"
An Early Childhood Grant Report

Over $34,000 from five donor advised funds, from the Birth to 3 Fund and from the COVID-19 Response Fund combined for grants to the Child Development Council to support young children and their caregivers. 

Excerpt from Child Development Council's report to us

"The Child Development Council facilitated support for our community's workforce and for child care providers to meet new requirements for operating during a pandemic.  Funding for child care created scholarships for essential workers and provider supports to offset lost revenue due to reduced group sizes, space modifications and supplies, including PPE distribution.

Tompkins County experienced a significant child care supply shortage before the pandemic, which has only been magnified by the pandemic.  No single group is getting their needs met: (Demand) some parents are only able to work if they have child care, yet others tell us they are looking for child care, but are having difficulty exposing their children/family to the associated risks.  (Supply) Child care providers may be able to access resources to PPE, but can't manage even a temporary drop in revenue.  In addition, finding and retaining a child care workforce presents additional challenges.  

The economics of a healthy community depend on businesses to be open and people being able to work.  Balancing the supply and demand has been difficult due to parental values/risk concerns, piecemeal approach to workforce call backs and sustainability of caregiving while working from home."
Philanthropic Services Enable Rotary Road Rally Grants

We provide philanthropic services to individuals and organizations to help them plan and achieve your charitable goals. The Rotary Club of Ithaca Fund, in alignment with Rotary's motto of service above self, is designed to support a broad range of needs across Tompkins County and beyond. Recently the club's 7th annual road rally raised $2,400. Four mini-grants from their fund went to a local nonprofit determined by the first place team, the anchor (last) place team , and a random team.

 Congratulations to: 
Let's Talk: 30 Minute Monthly Series 
Connecting you with issues and needs in our community

  • October 7, Let's Talk Food Security 
    with Holly Payne, Tompkins County COVID-19 Food Task Force Coordinator, REGISTER HERE
  • November 11, Let's Talk Workers 
    with Pete Meyers, Coordinator, Tompkins Workers Center
  • December 9 TBD
Thank you to our earlier Let's Talk speakers:

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

 Don't Miss Being a Part of Our Upcoming Events 

Celebrate with Community Foundation at the October 14 
Tompkins Chamber Business After Hours co-hosted with 

CFWF logo

Come together on October 29 during our virtual version of a community favorite event to honor the unique philanthropic actions of women.
REGISTRATION to open in early October
Upcoming Grant Opportunities


We have updated our special grant opportunity: Resilient Communities Rolling Grant Cycle. This now incorporates all Out of Cycle requests for fall 2020 and it expands the previous COVID Rolling Grant Cycle.

This cycle is designed for local nonprofits to share their emerging and changing needs as our community faces the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19. We are reviewing submitted applications weekly to provide a nimble and timely response to requests. Furthermore, we also meet regularly with other local funders and are sharing COVID-related requests, working together to create a coordinated response.

Make requests through CommunityForce, our online grant management platform.