In Yates County

How We Got Started

Katie Nord Peterson of Penn Yan approached the Community Foundation in November 2010 about the possibility of expanding into Yates County with some assistance from her family's foundation.

In June 2011, the Nord Family Foundation of Amherst, Ohio, awarded a $100,000 challenge grant to the Yates Community Endowment to match dollar for dollar any contributions up to that amount designated for broad support of Yates County. In late August, the first two major gifts to the endowment and eligible for the matching dollars were announced — a $50,000 gift from Carolyn and Tom Argust of Rochester and the Town of Italy, and $20,000 from the Yunis family and two of their businesses. 

In addition to its annual competitive grantmaking, the Yates Community Endowment has had a great deal of impact. For example:

  • In 2014, when flash flooding devastated homes, businesses, and roads, the Endowment raised $177,000 in just a few months to assist those affected. 
  • In 2016, the Endowment surpassed a five-year goal it had set to raise $1 million in permanent funds to support Yates County. 

Seeking 2017 Grant Proposals

The Yates Community Endowment is seeking grant proposals from nonprofit organizations that provide services to Yates County, with a special  interest in programs that create economic independence or systematically address poverty. Click here to get more details. 

The online application must be completed by 4 p.m on Monday, March 13

Major Funds

Yates Community Endowment Fund (2011): The goal of this endowment is to support local nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines dealing with the area's evolving needs now and in the future.  
Robert F. Flickinger Memorial Fund of the Yates County Endowment (2012): Created with gifts from friends, family, and others to honor this steadfast community supporter. 
Spring Hill Fund (1995): Established by descendants of Ontario County pioneers, this fund benefits youth in Yates and Ontario counties. 
Mitchell Family Community Leadership Fund (2010): A gift of a lakefront cottage created this fund to assist Yates County area charitable organizations. 
Willie Taaffe Memorial Fund of the Yates Community Endowment (2013): Created with gifts from friends, family, and others to honor this founding member of the Endowment's Advisory Board. Click here to contribute to this fund. 

What We Are Doing Today

The Yates Community Endowment is under the guidance of a 13-member, all-volunteer, all-local advisory board, co-chaired by Katie Nord Peterson and Lee Beaulac. The advisory board approved the Endowment's fifth round of grants totaling $20,270. The grants were awarded in August 2016 to the following nonprofits:

  • Arc of Yates, Inc. (Two Grants)
    Communication Project — To purchase Proloquo2Go Software and iPads to allow non-verbal clients to communicate with family and staff by using this groundbreaking technology. $1,000
    GreenSpace Project — To create natural greenspace and accessible trails at Arc’s program facility on North Avenue and renovate outdoor space at 18 Spring Street to allow residents to garden, view nature, and enjoy the outdoors in a safe setting. $3,770 (Includes $770 from The McMullen Family Fund)
  • The Living Well: A six-week program that partners experienced moms with new moms in education classes centered on health, safety and caring – partnering with experienced Moms. $4,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund and $831 from the Willie Taaffe Memorial Fund)
  • Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes Inc.: Provides personal safety presentations and follow up to Yates County youth in all pre-k to grade 6 classrooms on how to keep themselves safe from sexual and domestic violence. $2,500
  • Yates County Arts Council Inc.: Supports the purchase of initial supplies and a coordinator to run the first summer programs and set up the studio to be self-sustaining thereafter. $4,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund)
  • YMCA of Greater Rochester: Supports scholarships for Yates County youth to attend Camp Cory for either four students in a three-week leadership program or contribute toward 25 students attending day camp. $5,000 (Includes $1,000 from the Robert F. Flickinger Fund)

Learn more recent work by the Yates Community Endowment in its 2016 Annual Report and about the Endowment's previous grants awarded to Yates County nonprofits.

Yates County Demographics

This county, named for New York Governor Joseph Yates, covers about 400 square miles and is in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The rolling hills and spectacular views also include 64 precious miles of shoreline on Canandaigua, Keuka, and Seneca lakes. 

A Transfer of Wealth report commissioned by the Community Foundation contains detailed information on each of its regional counties, including this overview of Yates County.

Get even more data on Yates County on the ACT Rochester website.

PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

PHONE 585.271.4100 | FAX 585.271.4292 |
500 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607


An initiative of the Community Foundation, ACT Rochester uses data to assess our region on key indicators of well-being.