For Organizations: Apply for Funding

United Way of Tompkins County supports health & human service programs that are making an impact in our community. Those requesting a grant from United Way of Tompkins County must be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, community council, or municipal agency physically in or primarily serving residents of Tompkins County.

How to Apply

Please login to Foundant, our online grant management platform, to apply for available grants. We recommend using Google Chrome as your web browser, but Foundant is compatible with all browsers. To access training information for Foundant, including written instructions and videos, please click here. For technical assistance with your Foundant account, or to receive training, please contact Senior Director of Community Impact, Gregg Houck, at

Click here to start your application

Community Care Fund
  • Opening: TBD
  • Closing: TBD

The Community Care Fund invests in programs that address community needs and strengthens lives in Tompkins County. Funds are granted on a two-year cycle. Each cycle, the Community Care Fund awards grants to programs sponsored by our local partner agencies that focus on the building blocks of a good life: Education, Income and Health. here.

All human services nonprofit organizations in Tompkins County are eligible to apply for funds. Learn more about the programs the CCF has invested in for 2022-2024 here.

To learn more about our the fund's Guiding Principles and priorities, click here.

Previous Awardees: 2019-2020 Awardees,  2018-2019 Awardees,  2017-2018 Awardees, 2016-2017 Awardees, 2015-2016 Awardees


T. Merrell Shipherd Grant Fund

  • Opening: This is a rolling grant and is currently open. Applications received by the 1st Wednesday of each month are then considered on the 2nd Wednesday of the month and move through an approval process that includes sharing the application with other local funders for consideration. Therefore, depending on the timing of your submission, the process can take between four and seven weeks. The committee considering these applications typically does not meet in the months of July, August, or December. 
  • Closing: Closes when funds are exhausted for the fiscal year.

Description: The T. Merrell Shipherd Fund was established to honor T. Merrell Shipherd, former Director of United Way of Tompkins County, who, throughout his life, worked to bring people together to find effectives solutions to community challenges. TMS Fund Grants are made through a flexible fund at UWTC combined with resources from other local funders for projects that address emerging needs in the community, support efforts to improve organizational efficiency or capacity, and encourage collaboration among local human service organizations. These grants are meant for emergent needs for the agency outside of the usual two-year Community Care Fund cycle in response to unforeseen needs to continue operations or to meet new or increased needs in the community. The grant can also be awarded for meeting an existing need through a novel (emerging) approach.

Eligibility: This grant fund is only eligible to Tompkins County 501(C-3) nonprofit organizations or local municipalities. For agencies that received TMS funds in the previous fiscal year, UWTC will still consider your application and share with other funders, but your eligibility for UWTC funds will be limited to extending circumstances.

Total Amount To Be Awarded: $15,000

Learn more about the 2021-22 projects the T. Merrell Shipherd Fund has invested in here.

Previous Awardees: 2020 COVID-19 Response Awards,  2019-2020 Awardees,  2018-2019 Awardees

Youth and Philanthropy (YAP) Grant Fund

  • Opening: Monday, October 2, 2023
  • Closing: Monday, October 30, 2023

Description: Each year, 10th-12th graders from across Tompkins County participating in the Youth and Philanthropy (YAP) program, award grants to programs sponsored by local nonprofit agencies that focus on addressing community needs. All applications must clearly identify how the grant funding will address specific community needs and how those needs were identified. Requests do not have to be youth-centered. Funding for the grants awarded is provided by a generous donation from Triad Foundation. 

Eligibility: 501c3 nonprofits and exempt charitable, municipal/community, or educational organizations serving Tompkins County residents are eligible to apply. 

Total Amount To Be Awarded: $25,000

Learn more about the Fall 2022 projects YAP has invested in here.

Previous Awardees: 2021 Awardees 2020 Awardees,  2019 Awardees,  2018 Awardees

  • Opening: Friday, May 19, 2023
  • Closing: Wednesday, May 31, 2023 @ 8:00AM

Each spring, Dryden Middle School students in the Focus On Community Understanding Service (FOCUS) work with UWTC staff and school faculty/volunteers on leadership and development activities; community needs assessments; and a competitive grant cycle for their rural town. The students ultimately decide how to allocate the available funds. 

The funding for the program is provided by a generous grant from the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund.

- Must be a 501c3 non-profit organization or sponsored by one
- Program must be based in and/or provide direct service to the Town of Dryden community
- Requests should be for a specific project, program, or essential equipment – not general operating expenses
- Requests should be in the $250-$500 range, with a maximum request of $1,000


UWTC hopes to expand the program into additional Tompkins County communities in the future.