The following is a republished press release from the City Federation of Women’s Organizations and is NOT written by The Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements directly to The Ithaca Voice, email

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Women Building Community (WBC) Grants 2017-18 cycle has been announced by the board of the City Federation of Women’s Organizations (CFWO).  Completed grant applications are due Monday, September 25; guidelines and application requirements are available at, according to CFWO Board President Diane Shafer.

An optional informational meeting about the fifth annual WBC Grants program is open to the public on Tuesday, September 5 at 4:00 p.m. in Tompkins County Public Library BorgWarner Room, 101 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY.  Questions can also be directed to or by phoning 607-272-1247.

In the first four annual grant cycles, approximately $80,000 has been awarded for a total of 37 projects. They were awarded on the merit of the program, quality of the application, and available funds for the cycle, explained Marge Kline, chair of the Grants Committee.  “We have budgeted $30,000 to allocate as WBC Grants for 2017-18.”

Applications are accepted this September for grants up to $5,000 for programs to be completed by December 31, 2018. An additional special grant called an Innovation Grant, of up to $10,000 will be awarded to an organization that has a project that will have a high impact on our community’s women and/or girls.  Organizations may submit applications in both categories.

The mission of the WBC Grants is to support all women and girls regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, and socioeconomic status; and to act as a catalyst for the improvement of the lives of all women and girls in Tompkins County, thus making a contribution to the entire community.

The CFWO owned the Women’s Community Building on West Seneca Street where Breckenridge Place is now operated by Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services. The proceeds of this sale and existing CFWO resources created an endowment fund that makes WBC grants possible.

Project areas to be considered for funding must address needs and opportunities that improve the quality of life for Tompkins County women and girls. At least one of the following priorities needs to be addressed: Community Development, Education, Health, Human Services, and Activities that address Gender Equity.

The following projects organized by these organizations were WBC Grant recipients in 2016: A Place to Stay: Guest House for Homeless Women (Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga), Compost Toilet Build (Youth Farm Project), Educating Mother and Child (Tompkins Cortland Community College Faculty Student Association), Exploring the Arc of Women’s Suffrage and its Relevance to Current Issues (History Center in Tompkins County), Girls Night In (Groton Junior-Senior High School), Pieces of Clay (Southside Community Center), Strength in Girls (Beverly J. Martin Elementary School Enrichment Program A+), Survivors Circle (Advocacy Center), and TechSavvy 2017 (American Association of University Women, AAUW Ithaca Branch).

In 2015, one $10,000 Innovation Grant was awarded in addition to grants of $5,000 or less.  It was awarded to A Place to Stay, a women’s guest house, a new initiative of Catholic Charities to assist women in need of safe and stable housing. No Innovation Grants were awarded in 2016.

Nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies serving Tompkins County women and/or girls are eligible to apply for one or more than one activity that needs funding.  Applications from other organizations that carry out charitable projects or activities that address issues facing women and/or girls in Tompkins County may also be funded.  Organizations and individuals without nonprofit 501 (c) (3) designation need to be sponsored by an eligible nonprofit organization.

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.