Columbia Community Service

Columbia Community Service (CCS) is one of the oldest organizations on campus.  Its yearly campaign is a means for faculty and staff of Columbia University to support soup kitchens, after-school programs, and other critical services, through direct financial contributions.  With the University covering all administrative expenses, 100% of the contributions go directly to services.  The grants awarded by CCS are for direct services only, and not for salaries. Here is a quick overview of our work.

How to Apply

To be eligible for a CCS grant, your nonprofit organization must be located and offer services within one or more of the neighborhoods surrounding the University.  Typically the neighborhood is defined as the area north of West 86th Street, south of West 155th Street, and between 5th Avenue on the east, and the Hudson River on the west.  Please review the application process and send an e-mail to Joan Griffith Lee at if you have questions.

Your letter should state how the grant would serve your clients.  Please be advised that grants cannot be used to cover salaries.  Include supporting material (e.g., brochure and mission statement) and proof of your nonprofit status with your letter.

For Agencies located North of 155th Street

The University's Medical Center, which is located at West 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue operates a similar fund called the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund, which provides grants for organizations located to the north of West 155th Street.  More information on this fund is available at


During World War II, the Columbia University Committee for War Relief made critical contributions to the United States war effort, including the United War Fund and the American Red Cross. After the war, this group began to focus on helping the local community surrounding the University, which led to the formation of Columbia Community Service. Since its inception in 1946, CCS has helped countless people in the Columbia area by giving substantial grants and providing valuable resources to local community organizations. 


To learn how you can volunteer with a CCS Agency, please see our Volunteer Opportunities page.

To learn more, please visit the Columbia Community Service Website.