70th Columbia Community Service Campaign Announcement

November 02, 2016

Dear fellow members of the University community:

Not quite a century ago, during World War II, members of our academic community joined together to form the Committee for War Relief, which supported the war effort through organizations such as the United War Fund and the American Red Cross.  After the war, that group turned its attention to the local community and changed its name: Columbia Community Service was born.

Over the past seventy years, Columbia Community Service (CCS) has helped countless people in Upper Manhattan by giving substantial grants and providing valuable resources to organizations doing everything from arranging mental health care for the elderly, to supporting students with special needs, to teaching girls how to figure skate.  In offering dozens of local nonprofit service organizations grants customized to their needs, we are ensuring that they continue to thrive.  If you ask the leaders of these groups and the people whom they serve, they will tell you how much they rely on this support and how large an impact it has in the community.

Columbia Community Service is a University-wide effort that depends on all of us—faculty, administration, campus staff, and retirees.  By committing to this campaign, you will be enriching your connection to this neighborhood and to this community.  When you donate to CCS, you also know it will sustain local nonprofit organizations, as overhead costs and administrative fees are covered by all three institutions, ensuring 100% of donations go directly to them.

Last year, with contributions from 1,484 faculty, staff, and retirees of Columbia, Barnard, and Teachers College, we raised $370,218, which we distributed to 56 local nonprofit organizations.  This year, for this landmark anniversary, we call on you to help us exceed that number and signal our commitment to the services our neighbors depend on.

Contributions can be made online at http://communityservice.columbia.edu.  We want to express our sincere thanks to everyone who joins in this important University effort.  Whether you have contributed in the past or will be doing so for the first time, feel assured that your partnership in this effort is transformational.


Lee C. Bollinger            
CCS Chair                
President, Columbia University

Susan H. Fuhrman
CCS Co-Chair
President, Teachers College

Debora L. Spar
CCS Co-Chair