November 8th, 2011

Celebrating Community Foundation Week November 12-18, 2011


NOVEMBER 12–18, 2011

Community Foundation of Tompkins County Participates in National Effort to Highlight Local Impact of Philanthropy

[Ithaca, NY] ─ During the week of November 12-18, 2011, Community Foundation of Tompkins County will join more than 700 community foundations across America for Community Foundation Week. For more than 20 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.

During the week, Community Foundation of Tompkins County will make final determination of more than $33,000 of grants for rural communities, release the findings of its Transfer of Wealth Study and premiere its new website at

“Community foundations improve lives, solve problems, and build futures,” said George Ferrari, Executive Director “In a down economy, with limited resources and a growing need for services to help families in need, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions to some of our most challenging social problems.”

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. In 2011, the Community Foundation of Tompkins County launched its first Rosen Library Fund grant cycle of more than $70,000 for the 33 libraries of the Finger Lakes Library System, continued rural towns Listening & Learning focus groups, increased membership in its planned giving society to 32, and completed its application to the Council on Foundations to renew its compliance with the rigorous National Standards seal of approval.

Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—that is advancing solutions to a wide range of social issues. The 2010 Columbus Survey found that despite the recession, giving by the nation’s 100 largest community foundations actually increased slightly in 2010 to $3.7 billion and exceeded prerecession levels seen in 2006 and 2007. Community Foundation of Tompkins County grants increased by 3.47% from 2009 to 2010 in part to meet the increasing demands of the economic recession.

Launched in 1989 through a presidential proclamation, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.


Generous residents of Tompkins County have contributed a total of more than $11 million since 2000, more than $1 million every year of the Foundation’s existence. This has enabled the Community Foundation to manage assets of $7.1 million and since its inception in 2000 to award over $3.5 million in more than 1,200 individual grants.

Information about the mission and operations of the Community Foundation, and guidance regarding how to invest in the community as a Foundation donor, is available at