Community Grants

United Way of Tompkins County helps people meet their immediate, basic needs while empowering lasting change, and is committed to supporting essential programs and services through community grants. 

Grants are awarded by community volunteers to UWTC partner organizations and qualifying organizations after a review of the program’s design, financials, outcomes and performance. UWTC tracks and measures the outcomes of funded programs, ensuring that donor dollars do the most good by supporting critical and effective services for our community.

Corporate Cornerstone Partners’ gifts and UWTC’s earned income cover UWTC’s administrative and operating costs. This enables 100% of donors’ gifts to UWTC’s Community Care Fund, special initiatives, partner organizations, or another United Way to directly benefit those programs and services.


Community Care Fund

    Community Care Fund supports essential education, income, and health services in our community. These dollars help achieve the following outcomes

    • Children and youth succeed in school, work, and life.
    • Individuals and families have improved financial stability and self-sufficiency.
    • Children, seniors and adults have improved physical, emotional, and mental well-being. 

    The Community Care Fund is open to UWTC partner organizations and qualifying organizations.

    Special Initiatives:

    • Hunger & Food Security Fund:
      • UWTC is helping people have access to an adequate supply of nutritious food by supporting local food programs. All Tompkins County nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for programs addressing access to nutritional food and the need for personal care items. 
    • Youth and Philantropy:
      • Through the Youth and Philanthropy Program, local high school students develop individual and group communication and leadership skills, learn about community assets and needs, and award funds to local organizations. All nonprofit organizations in the TST BOCES District are eligible to apply
    • Ithaca College Student United Way: 
      • IC SUW is a student-led initiative dedicated to community-wide charitable and volunteer efforts. IC SUW raises and grants funds to local nonprofits through a competitive grant process. All Tompkins County nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply
    • T. Merrell Shipherd Flexible Fund:
      • The purpose of this fund is to address new or emerging needs in the community, to support efforts to improve organizational efficiency, and to encourage collaborations such as mergers and service delivery joint ventures. United Way partner organizations are eligible to apply. Non-partner organizations may apply in partnership/collaboration with a partner organization
    • FOCUS:
      • FOCUS is an extension of the Youth and Philanthropy program, and is working with Middle School students from rural districts to develop leadership skills and learn about their community by reviewing grants and awarding funds to local groups. FOCUS works with a new rural town each year, and all community groups and nonprofits serving that community are eligible to apply

    Click here for information on how to apply. For additional information please contact Kelsey Rossbach via email at or call (607) 272-6286.