The purpose of the Women Building Community (WBC) Grants of the City Federation of Women’s Organizations (CFWO) is to act as catalyst for the improvement of the lives of all women and girls in Tompkins County, thus making a contribution to the community as a whole. WBC Grants support all women and girls regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status and socio-economic status.


WBC Unexpected Needs Grants up to $1,000

A rolling-application grants opportunity to help not-for-profits fund unexpected needs or emergencies. Awards will be made following the next available Board Meeting.

WBC Grants up to $5,000

Applications are accepted until 6 PM, September 20, 2019.

Projects must be completed by December 31, 2020.

WBC Innovation Grant up to $10,000

Applications are accepted in March for a “big idea” project that will have a significant impact on women and girls in our community. Special consideration will be given to new projects for which funding has previously not been available, and for existing projects for which additional funding will have a major impact. The project must be completed by June 1 of the year following the grant award.

All Grants

If funds are not expended for the stated purpose(s) they must be returned to WBC.

If you have any questions about these grants, please contact CFWO/WBC by email -


The City Federation of Women’s Organizations (CFWO) welcomes grant applications from nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and from governmental agencies serving Tompkins County.

Organizations without a 501 (c) (3) designation will be required to be sponsored by a nonprofit organization that does have a 501 (c) (3). Applications submitted by an entity under the auspices of another agency must include a written statement signed by the agency’s board president/executive director on behalf of the organization agreeing to act as the entity’s fiscal sponsor, to receive grant monies if awarded, and to oversee the proposed project including the final report.


The project for which funding is being requested must address needs and opportunities that improve the quality of life for Tompkins County women and girls, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Community Development: Activities that benefit women and girls and will improve the quality of life for women and girls in Tompkins County
  • Education: Activities that promote or strengthen the educational attainment of women and girls, both in and out of the classroom
  • Health: Activities that improve the health outcomes of women and girls
  • Human Services: Activities that support public safety, employment, food and nutrition, housing and shelter, disaster preparedness, and other relief for women and girls
  • Activities that address gender equity issues
  • Administrative/operating costs directly related to a specific project will be funded 


  • Requests for funding to reduce or retire debt of the organization
  • Projects operated by religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political parties or campaigns
  • Administrative/operating costs not directly related to the proposed project
  • Annual appeals and membership contributions
  • Endowment campaigns

Organizations may submit more than one application. Organizations may submit applications for all WBC Grants, for the same and/or for many projects. Organizations are encouraged to seek additional funds from other sources as well. 


Grant Application Forms may be downloaded from this website.

Applications must be completed and returned either by email to:, or by mail to:
Women Building Community Grants, CFWO, Box # 200, 101 E. State St., Ithaca, NY 14850

All applications must be received by the deadlines posted on our website.
Late applications will not be accepted. 


All organizations receiving WBC up to $5,000 or Innovation Grants must submit a final report. (Unexpected Needs Grants do not require a final report.) Report forms are linked above.

Deadlines for Final Reports:
WBC up to $5,000 and Innovation Grants awarded 2018-2019: 1/31/2020
Innovation Grant awarded 2019: 6/30/2020
WBC up to $5,000 Grants awarded 2019: 1/31/2021
Unexpected Needs Grants: upon project completion, a brief note or email attesting to use of funds should be sent to CFWO at:

Note: Organizations applying for a new WBC up to $5,000 or Innovation Grant before submitting the final report for a previously funded project must submit the final report with the new grant application. If work is not complete on the previous project, submit an interim report with the new application. (Does not apply to applications for Unexpected Needs Grants.)


Grant recipients must mention Women Building Community as a funding source in all publicity and promotional material about the funded project. They are requested to submit photographs and personal reports of the project to CFWO for use on our website and in social media. 


The City Federation of Women’s Organizations (CFWO) was founded in 1910 by the Ithaca Woman’s Club, the Political Study Group (now the League of Women Voters) and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (now defunct), believing that they could accomplish more by working together.  The CFWO was incorporated in 1920 and later purchased the property on the corner of Seneca and Cayuga Streets in downtown Ithaca.  The original house, and more modern building that later replaced it, were known as the Women’s Community Building (WCB). Through the years member organizations (for many years totaling over sixty) enabled the CFWO to provide housing for women, community meeting space, and to serve as an incubator for numerous efforts enriching the lives of women and children in our community.  The proceeds from the sale of the WCB in 2012 now fund an endowment to continue the CFWO mission through grants and scholarships.

The CFWO is managed by a Board of Directors which includes representatives from the CFWO Legacy Organizations and individuals representing the community.