About Us

A community foundation is a public charity that focuses on supporting a geographical area, by facilitating and pooling gifts to address community needs and support local nonprofits through grantmaking.

Community foundations offer numerous types of grantmaking programs, including donor-advised funds, endowments, field-of-interest funds, designated funds and sometimes giving circles and scholarships.

Community foundations are funded by gifts from individuals, families, and businesses. They are designated "tax-exempt public charities" rather than "private foundations" because they raise a significant portion of their gifts from a broad number of donors each year.

In 1914, a banker, Frederic Goff, established the first community foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, there are about 800 USA community foundations and over 1,800 worldwide. Each is addressing community needs and empowering people to address local challenges and opportunities.

Established in 2000, the mission of our Community Foundation of Tompkins County is to bring people and resources together to build a more equitable Tompkins County by inspiring diverse philanthropy, catalyzing collaborations and championing inclusion and justice.

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Philanthropy Magnified, our monthly impact report, contains the latest information on grants, events and people of the Community Foundation as well as local nonprofit news. Sign-up to receive regular updates. Thank you for being a friend and for your interest and support of our mission to improve the quality of life in Tompkins County.

2020 Annual Report titled ““Resilience: An Unforgettable 20th Anniversary”


Additional Annual Report Resources

Community Impact in Tompkins County

The Community Foundation of Tompkins County awards grants with the expectation of specific results to those groups whom we believe will make the differences we desire to see in our community. To learn more visit Impact Dashboards and Impact Stories.


quote Leo Buscaglia

Change is the result of true learning.