ithaca rooftops1 600

A long-time Ithaca resident has pledged $100,000 to Community Foundation of Tompkins County to create a new endowment that will support a wide range of local nonprofit organizations. The gift is the first made to the endowment for the Tompkins Today Tomorrow Fund, administered by Community Foundation's board of directors. Since it was created in 2003, the fund has supported more than 30 organizations, including the Friendship Donations Network, the SPCA of Tompkins County and the Discovery Trail.

"This pledge represents a great beginning of our effort to build an endowed grantmaking program and put it on a solid footing," said George Ferrari, chief executive officer of Community Foundation. The anonymous donor said she wanted to make the pledge to show her commitment to the community and to set an example she hopes others will follow. "Community Foundation has reached a level of maturity where it can be more proactive in its grantmaking," she said. "They know the local issues, challenges and needs."

The gift will be split equally between the endowment and operational support for Community Foundation, which last year distributed $2.1 million in grants to 364 nonprofits in Tompkins County. Community Foundation board members, stewards of the endowment, expressed gratitude for the gift and look forward to other potential donors supporting it as well. "We are so grateful for this gift. It is a vote of confidence in how our grantmaking engages the community to address local needs," said Randy Ehrenberg, current board chair.

Incoming chair Susan H. Murphy added, "This new endowment gives us greater flexibility and more resources to meet emerging local challenges today and well into the future." Community Foundation was established in 2000 by community leaders who believed Tompkins County needed a local resource addressing local needs. Since it was established, Community Foundation has awarded $12 million in over 3,000 grants locally.