Our Mission, Vision, & Values and Our Grant Making Philosophy

Mission Statement

  • The mission of our Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in Tompkins County by inspiring and supporting enduring philanthropy.

Vision Statement

  • Tompkins County thrives thanks to engaged philanthropy.

We Value

  • Integrity, inclusion and transparency in both grant-making and stewardship of resources;
  • Impartiality and flexibility, matching community needs with donor interests;
  • Involved donors who are empowered to take bold and effective philanthropic actions;
  • Community leadership in acquiring and sharing of knowledge;
  • Engaging in best practices and innovative models of service.

Our Grant Making Philosophy

Your Community Foundation has adopted a grant making philosophy. This guides all of our grant making from our Tompkins Today and Tomorrow Fund as well as from our Field of Interest Funds such as the Women’s Fund and Children & Youth Fund.

Grant making from donor advised funds reflects the charitable goals of individual donor advisors and represent both donor advisor initiated grants as well as their responses to grant cycle applications.

Grant making from field of interest funds reflects the specific topic for which the fund was created and may also reflect the guidance of field of interest fund community volunteers as well as our Community Impact Committee.

Grant making from agency/designated funds reflects the beneficiary organizations named at the time of fund creation.


Our Community Foundation makes grants that address community needs and bring about positive change. We strive to make grants that adhere to our values and principles.

1. Our grant-making priorities reflect our analysis and evaluation of information gained from Listening & Learning sessions and feedback from grantees and community members.

2. We are committed to active and ongoing collaborative relationships with grant applicants and Tompkins County funders.

3. Our grant review process engages diverse groups of community members in thoughtful discussions leading to funding decisions.

Our active participation in the Tompkins County Funders Group and the NY Funders Alliance, and our voluntary compliance with the National Standards of the Council of Foundations uniquely position us to be of service to grant seekers and to donors alike. We continually seek to expand our role as a locally based, well-informed, professionally accredited supporter of the community by adding our knowledge to donor values and intent for grant making with maximum beneficial impact.

quote Aldo Leopold

Ones destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.