Philanthropy Magnified
November 2014

A Message from our CEO, George Ferrari
George Ferrari

It is that time of the year when people are planning their generous gifts and expressions of thanksgiving and gratitude. Your Community Foundation is ready to assist you in planning your gifts so that they have the most impact and the greatest benefit to the recipients as well as to your tax situation. Please keep your Community Foundation in mind as you prepare your giving plan for the end of 2014. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Make a gift at the $1,000 annual operations HEROES level
  • Donate to the Operational Endowment Fund, which helps us provide services to our community
  • Contribute to the growing endowments of our Women's Fund or our Children & Youth Fund
  • Make a multi-year pledge to support the operations of the Community Foundation
  • Start your own fund
  • Give to any existing fund

Click here for more information


2014 Holiday Office Hours, Grant Nomination Deadline and Gift Date Deadlines


2014 Holiday Office Hours


Thursday, November 27 and Friday, November 28


Monday, December 1 through Monday, December 22

Open Regular Hours

Tuesday, December 23

Closed at 3pm

Wednesday, December 24


Thursday, December 25


Friday, December 26


Monday, December 29 and Tuesday, December 30

Open Regular Hours

Wednesday, December 31

Closed at 3pm

Thursday, January 1


Friday, January 2

Regular Hours Resume


Refer to the above schedule for holiday office hours. Please call 272-9333 or email for a specific appointment to be certain that we may assist you, given your schedule.


Grant Nominations must be received by our office no later than Tuesday, December 16, 2014 in order for the grant to be processed for 2014.


Gift Deadlines


Gifts delivered by US Mail must be postmarked by December 31, 2014 in order to receive a 2014 gift date. Hand delivered gifts must be received in person in our office by 1 pm on Wednesday, December 31, 2014 in order to receive a 2014 gift date.


For Gifts of Stock, we kindly ask that you be certain that the transfer process has begun no later than Monday, December 15, 2014 to ensure that the gift can be treated as qualified for 2014. 


As always, keep connected by visiting our website at

or our Facebook page

Community Foundation Funds Commons Enhancements
By Janet Cotraccia, Program Officer
The Community Foundation has enabled the funding of three major public amenities for the redesigned Ithaca Commons pedestrian mall.

The Ridenour Family Fund of the Community Foundation in memory of Layel and Nan Ridenour provided funding for a planter and bench area. The new Commons will feature twelve different stand-alone clusters of public amenities, trees, and greenery. Each area has a sixteen-foot-long ground level planter, new shade trees, and a large public bench. Some will also have movable chairs and public art. These areas are a core part of the Commons project and will be built into phase three this winter and spring, with trees being planted in the spring based on weather and growing conditions.


A grant was made by the Hartnett Fund in memory of Howard Hartnett, providing funding for an outdoor reading room on the new Commons. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) was inspired by an intriguing and dynamic project located in the heart of New York City: Bryan Park's HSBC Reading Room. The DIA will create a similar version of this reading room. Utilizing one of the planter and bench areas, the DIA will install umbrellas, movable racks and shelves with books and periodicals, and signage to help residents and visitors enjoy this uniquely urban experience. The DIA will host an annual opening reception.


The Community Foundation's Myrtle Dee Nash Fund provided funding for animal tracks as well as an additional planter and bench area. Families and children are important users of the Ithaca Commons. The new Commons has been designed to include a scattered site attraction for children and families: animal footprints colorized and engraved into paving tiles as a permanent installation. Each set of footprints will have an identifying plaque (rabbit, raccoon, deer, fox, bear, etc.) and the project will have a central sign near the playground, urging families to explore the Commons to look for each set.

When the City of Ithaca opened bids for the Commons redesign project, the phase three construction package was substantially over budget. In response, the City proposed to eliminate several planned elements, including the above items as well as the community playground, interactive touchscreen kiosks, and holiday lighting. The City and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance agreed to work together to seek to restore as many of these deleted items as possible through a private-sector "Enhancing the Commons" donor campaign. The campaign has raised a total of $161,500 and has successfully re-secured these desired public amenities.


Says Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, "The heart and soul of the new Commons will be its package of amenities designed for the hundreds of thousands of people who use it each and every year. The Community Foundation has been instrumental in helping the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and City connect with donors who were interested in contributing to the Commons project and the programs we have designed to support and enhance it. We are most grateful to the donors and to the Foundation for helping to make a new Commons possible and for enlivening it for Ithaca residents and visitors for years to come."

AFP, Finger Lakes Chapter, National Philanthropy Day Awards
By Amy LeViere, Donor Services Officer
Joanne Florino was awarded Outstanding Professional Achievement in Non-profit Leadership, as nominated by the Community Foundation and the Human Services Coalition (HSC).  The November 13th luncheon was held at Emerson Suites, Ithaca College.


Joanne has delivered critical problem solving, sector-wide capacity building, and strategic decision making in our region for over 30 years. Serving in staff leadership in three local philanthropic institutions: Atlantic Philanthropies, the Park Foundation and the Triad Foundation, she has always been willing to consider new ideas and approaches, and was often found working quietly behind the scenes to help craft and support initiatives aimed at improving the lives of those in the community with the greatest need. 


As a long standing member of the Tompkins County Funders group, Joanne encouraged collaboration and collegiality. She helped to start the Community Foundation of Tompkins County and she has served as a reviewer for the Human Services funding review process. She continues to provide education and training for non-profit agencies and philanthropic support institutions such as the Council on Foundations. She continues a long term commitment to studying data and engaging a diversity of partners in wide ranging collaboratives, especially in her current role in Washington, DC as the Philanthropy Roundtable's Senior Vice President for Public Policy.


In all these roles, Joanne brought her exceptional understanding of the range of human needs in Tompkins County and of the strengths of the community agencies meeting those needs.  She used that knowledge to articulate, as few others have ever done, a vision of a better community, and brought her influence to bear to achieve that vision.

Recognizing the Impact of Community Foundations November 12 - 18, 2014

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


During the week of November 12-18, 2014, Community Foundation of Tompkins County will join more than 700 community foundations across the US celebrating Community Foundation Week. For 25 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 will co-sponsor the local celebration of National Philanthropy Day, host Listening & Learning, a special community focus group on collective impact, announce its 2015 grants calendar, and distribute the second round of grants from our 2 Year Grants, Magnified Results, the Fall 2013 & 2014 Grant Cycle.


The Community Foundation also announced its 2015 new board members and 2015 new board officers. New to the board are Fabina Colon, Alice Moore, Susan Murphy, Stephen Pope, Ron Poole, and Kevin Shreve. Officers for 2015 are Alan Mathios, Chairperson, Randy Ehrenberg, Vice-Chairperson, Diane McDonough, Treasurer, and Sandy Dhimitri, Secretary.


"Community foundations impact lives, solve problems, and improve futures," said CEO George Ferrari. "As many residents grapple with limited resources and a growing need for services, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for 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. By exploring new ways of solving problems, they seek impact and lasting results. This year, the Community Foundation continues to explore the concept of collective impact as a way of engaging more people and more resources including creating a new Collective Impact field of interest fund.


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-working to advance solutions on a wide range of social issues. A new resource, the Community Foundation Atlas, at provides global data and stories in this centennial year of the movement marked by the start of the first community foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, in 1914. In 2015, the Community Foundation of Tompkins County will celebrate its 15th year of service.


Community Foundation of Tompkins County, created in 2000, has record assets of more than $13 million and will make more than $1.4 million in grants in 2014.

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 projector
  • 5 new large screen monitors
  • support for local artwork
  • Annual Report display rack
In This Issue
News and Events
2015 Women's Fund Grant Cycle Q & A Session
  • Dec. 11, 2014
  • 1pm - 2pm
  • Community Foundation of Tompkins County
  • Registration
Community Foundation Holiday Open House
Fall 2013-2014 Grant Cycle Community Report Back
Who We Are
2013 Annual Report

Click here to view our latest report,
Learning to Give, Giving to Learn.
2014 3rd Quarter Grants and Assets Dashboard

Click here to view our latest grants and assets dashboard.
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

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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