Philanthropy Magnified
September 2014

A Message from our CEO, George Ferrari
George Ferrari

Your Community Foundation now has a new way for you to support our efforts. It is called Amazon Smile and it is easy.


What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. Yes, you can use the same account on and AmazonSmile. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.


If you shop this way, we hope that you will choose Community Foundation of Tompkins County to support. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to us.


As always, keep connected by visiting our website at

Collective Impact in Tompkins County

By Janet Cotraccia, Program Officer

In our quest to build a just and equitable community in Tompkins County, Building Bridges, described by Kirby Edmonds as a network of networks, invited our community to convene at a forum this past May around the success and potential of Collective Impact. In the winter of 2011, the Stanford Social Innovation Review published a paper on Collective Impact and its potential to lay out a clear framework for how organizations across all sectors can work together to achieve a common goal. There was an enthusiastic response from communities across North America. A follow up article, called Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work, was published in 2012. While this article was circulating throughout our community, it was used to frame a community forum On May 13th at Greenstar's "The Space". Over 200 people attended to learn about Collective Impact's approach to creating large scale change in a broad range of areas. Several CI initiatives were also proposed for Tompkins County. 96% of those in attendance said that CI is a direction that we should pursue as a community. As local funders became aware of multiple CI initiatives taking hold, the Collective Impact Fund was established at the Community Foundation with funds from our Social Justice Fund, the Park Foundation, and private donors. A mini grant cycle was launched to support attendance at the Collective Impact Summit (Oct. 6-10, 2014) at the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. Three applicants were awarded grants to attend the Summit: Karim Beers (representing Get Your GreenBack Tompkins of CCETC, which is part of an initiative addressing our community's carbon footprint), Natasha Thompson (representing the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, which is addressing summer food security), and Kirby Edmonds (representing Building Bridges, which is offering support to multiple initiatives to define a shared agenda, shared measures, mutually reinforcing activities and a backbone structure). We look forward to learning more from the Summit attendees and other CI leaders. As our local conversation continues to grow with new stakeholders around the table, we are planning a Listening and Learning event around Collective Impact for November 13th, 6:00pm-7:30pm (location to be determined). Please save the date and plan to join us!

Donor Spotlight
By Amy LeViere, Donor Services Officer

We're excited to have Chemung Canal Trust Company join us as a Corporate Community Supporter. Long-time Ithaca resident, vice-president, and branch manager Mark Kenjerska's involvement within our community continues to have an impact, making Tompkins County a special place to work and live. Currently, Mark is involved as a volunteer, teacher/trainer, and board member at the YMCA; combining his passion for health and physical fitness with making a difference in the lives of others.

Corporate support allows the Community Foundation to encourage local philanthropy, fund vital programs and grow community resources.


Thank you, Mark and thank you, Chemung Canal Trust Company!

After Ferguson, Grant Makers Are Seeking...
Title: After Ferguson, Grant Makers Are Seeking Fresh Solutions To Racial-Justice Problems
Date: August 28, 2014
Credit: Suzanne Perry, Chronicle of Philanthropy

The shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., and the police response to the protests that followed have galvanized philanthropic leaders to explore ways to devote more attention to long-simmering racial-justice issues.


Foundations at both the local and national levels have been conferring about what needs to be done to tackle questions like the suburbanization of poverty, police accountability, and harmful stereotypes about young black men.

"Maybe this tragic event is an opportunity to make us think differently about the way we give," says Amelia Bond, president of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation, who attended a meeting of local grant makers late last month to discuss the events in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

"Everyone agreed that this is a long-term issue."


A National Perspective

The St. Louis area is short of philanthropic dollars, she says, because it lacks big private foundations-and needs some kind of endowment fund for community needs.

National grant makers, meanwhile, are looking at the broader implications of Michael Brown's killing by a white police officer following a string of other killings of unarmed young black men, including Trayvon Martin in Florida and Eric Garner, who died after being put in a police chokehold in New York.


"This has become an all-too-familiar scenario in America," La June Montgomery Tabron, head of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, said in a statement, also mentioning the 2006 police shooting of an Asian man in Minnesota. "The law-enforcement and justice systems in our nation are broken and must be immediately addressed."

Ms. Tabron has joined in several conference calls about Ferguson with the Executives' Alliance, a group of grant makers who work on projects to improve the lives of young minority men. "We realize this community is in pain that is spreading beyond the community and across this nation," she says.


Kellogg has decided to provide an additional $15-million for its America Healing racial-equity project, which gives grants to programs like the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Center for Policing Equity, she says.


Tough Questions

The Ford Foundation, which participates in that alliance, also invited leaders of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Center for Constitutional Rights, and Center for Social Inclusion to its headquarters to share their perspectives on Ferguson. Spokesman Joseph Voeller said in an email that the foundation "will continue to follow all of this very closely in the weeks ahead."


Mr. Brown's death sparked protests and looting that drew police in riot gear who used tear gas and armored vehicles to control the crowds, prompting strong reactions from some nonprofit leaders.


"It's the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, and as I watch the news of what is happening in Ferguson, Mo., I keep thinking, 'All that's missing are the dogs and hoses'," Susan Taylor Batten, president of the Association of Black Foundation Executives, said in a statement.


Foundations, charities, and corporations have contributed about $300-million to My Brother's Keeper, a White House effort to promote mentoring, educational assistance, and other services to help minority boys and young men succeed.

Ms. Batten says grant makers need to go beyond such efforts to examine longstanding issues related to race, for example, by paying to collect data about the number of unarmed black people killed by police and organizing local discussions about community-police relations.

"It's a challenge to get philanthropy to turn its attention as a field to some of these thornier, tougher issues," she said in an interview.


Police Practices

Angela Glover Blackwell, head of PolicyLink, a nonprofit that promotes economic and social equity, says philanthropy should help improve police practices, for example, by highlighting departments that have positive records. She was one of several hundred nonprofit and community leaders who signed a letter to President Obama last month complaining that local law-enforcement units "too often treat low-income neighborhoods populated by African-Americans and Latinos as if they are military combat zones."

But she says grant makers also need to devote more attention to the growth of poverty in suburban regions like Ferguson, a predominantly black town. "Otherwise, we're going to see other Fergusons because there are communities like this across the country," she says.

"They are tinderboxes just waiting to explode." Mr. Voeller says the Ford Foundation includes suburbs in its community-development programs in metropolitan areas.

Among its efforts, the foundation provides grants to the Brookings Institution to do research on suburban poverty. Its findings were reported in a book issued last year.


Community Organizing

The Rev. Starsky Wilson, president of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based St. Louis grant maker, says more money is needed for community organizing, advocacy, and voter mobilization in Ferguson, which has a mostly white police force and city council, and other places like it.


"These are historically underfunded by philanthropy, but these are clearly the things that are needed there," he says.

Deaconess recently committed $100,000 from its endowment to support such activities, for example, to pay for youth organizing in north St. Louis County, designed "to take the energies that people saw expressed on the streets and get them to a strategic framework," he says.


As grant makers ponder the lessons of Ferguson, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has been working with other nonprofits to help local residents get through the immediate crisis. The efforts have included setting up a temporary drop-in center to help families affected by street closures, shuttered businesses, and curfews, and counseling for people traumatized by the events.


The charity has raised $1.3-million for a Ferguson Fund, set up to develop local social-service programs. Julie Russell, senior vice president for planning and evaluation, says nonprofits, donors, police, religious groups, and government officials now need to unite to address complex poverty-related problems such as unemployment, youth violence, and educational disparities.


"It's going to take some exquisite teamwork and collaboration and coordination of services," she says.

GrantStation Access
The Community Foundation now has access to GrantStation and we would like to share it with you!

GrantStation is a tool for non-profits, educational institutions, and government agencies that helps these groups find both private and federal grantmakers in their local area, for a specific area of interest, or for a specific project.

GrantStation is very user-friendly and operates using both simple and advanced search features. As a grant seeker, you can simply search within an area of interest or for a specific keyword, or do a more intricate search and find exactly what you are seeking.

There are also many resources provided by GrantStation to aid in the grant seeking process. GrantStation is divided into four sections: Search, Write, Learn, and Read. Each of these sections will help you in different ways and guide you toward writing better grants to the right people.

To give GrantStation a try in our offices or to conduct more thorough research, reserve a one-hour GrantStation time slot by contacting our Administrative Assistant, Matthew Fisher:

(607) 272-9333
New Office Wishlist
We have office furniture donated by the Park Foundation and office architecture and painting donated pro bono by Flatfield Designs, Daniel Hirtler, Registered Architect, but we are still looking for the following things to help make our office complete:
  • LCD Smart projector
  • 5 new large screen monitors
  • support for local artwork
  • Annual Report display rack
In This Issue
News and Events
Philanthtopy Learning Exchange: Investing in Your Community Through Education: What Makes Us Unique
  • Sept. 15, 2014
  • 5pm - 7pm
  • 4pm for donors
  • Borg Warner Rm.
    Tompkins County Public Library
    101 E. Green St.
    Ithaca, NY 14850
  • Click here to register

Financial Counseling 

5 Years Pre and 5 Years Post Retirement 

with Rick Prybyl of Morgan Stanley

  • Oct. 21, 2014
  • 5pm for professional advisors
  • 4pm for donors
Women's Fund Fall Gathering: "Serving Women Veterans: Community Supports"
  • Nov. 6, 2014
  • 4:30pm - 6:30pm
  • 4:30: social time
  • 4:45 sharp: program starts
  • Cinemapolis
    120 E. Green St.Ithaca, NY 14850
Listening and Learning Event
  • Nov. 13, 2014
  • 6pm - 7:30pm
  • Location TBD
Who We Are
2013 Annual Report

Click here to view our latest report,
Learning to Give, Giving to Learn.
What Are Community Foundations?

Community Foundations are not-for-profit organizations founded and staffed by people who are dedicated to seeking out what is needed in our community and what is valuable about Tompkins County and to helping those valuable assets grow important results. We understand our community's needs and help you to turn your charitable passions into results-oriented philanthropy. We show donors how to make gifts go further and accomplish more.

Meet the Board and Staff

Board Chair

Robin Masson


Vice Board Chair

Alan Mathios



Mary Berens



Diane McDonough



Richard Banks

Susan Brown

Tom Colbert

Paula Davis

Sandra Dhimitri

Randy Ehrenberg

Ross Feldman

Marcie Finlay

Bob Jewell

Sara Knobel

Tim Little

Phil McPheron

Bill Murphy

Nancy Potter

David Squires

Carol Travis

Lucia Tyler

Linda Wagenet

Julie Waters

Baruch Whitehead

Stephanie Wiles


Incorporating Board

Jeff Furman

Howard Hartnett

Bill Myers

Robert Swieringa

John Semmler

Diane Shafer



Click on a name to send an email.


Chief Executive Officer

George Ferrari, Jr.


Program Officer

Janet Cotraccia


Donor Services Officer

Amy LeViere


Administrative Assistant

Matthew Fisher

Community Foundation of Tompkins County | (607) 272-9333 | |
200 E. Buffalo St.
Suite 202
Ithaca, NY 14850

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