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United Way of Tompkins County is responding to an increase in local needs due to COVID-19 by expanding and expediting our existing funding processes. As always, 100% of donations given through United Way of Tompkins County (UWTC) will continue to go directly to agency programs and services.

Donors can continue to contribute any of UWTC’s existing community initiatives or a nonprofit agency of their choice. In addition they can designate their gift to support UWTC’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

COVID-19 Relief Funding FAQs

Q: What activities will UWTC support with funds designated to COVID-19 relief efforts?

A: UWTC will provide assistance to local agencies addressing unforeseen challenges in the areas of health care, food security, and financial stability initiated by COVID- 19. 

Q: How can I contribute to the COVID-19 relief efforts?

A: Gifts to the COVID-19 relief efforts can be made by: Donating on our donation page and checking the box next to CORVID-19 relief efforts under “Donation Request” Calling (607) 500-GIVE and requesting that your gift go to the COVID-19 Relief Fund

Q: How will agencies access gifts designated for CORVID-19 relief efforts?

A: Gifts through the United Way of Tompkins County designated to a nonprofit of the donor’s choice will be distributed to agencies on a monthly schedule. 

Gifts to UWTC’s COVID-19 relief efforts will support requests to the T. Merrell Shipherd Flexible Fund. This fund was established over a decade ago to address emerging community needs. Agencies will formally apply for funding through this fund. These requests will be considered on a rolling basis and the decision- making and distribution process will be expedited.

Q: Our nonprofit agency is facing unforeseen challenges initiated by COVID-19. How can we apply for COVID-19 relief funds from UWTC?

A: Contact UWTC’s Director of Community Impact, Emma Terwilliger at 607-272-6286 or e-mail her at to learn how to apply to the T. Merrell Shipherd Flexible Fund.