Columbia Community Service (CCS) annually awards grants to a number of not for profit organizations that serve people who live in Columbia’s neighborhood.

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. 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 the Neighborhood Fund's website. CCS awarded grants to 60 local service programs in 2018.

CCS Grantee Spotlight: Harlem Grown

Harlem Grown is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. Founded in 2011, they operate local urban farms, increase access to and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents, and provide garden-based development programs to Harlem youth.

Tony Hillery, CEO and Executive Director thinks that healthy habits start young, which is why their programs target elementary-aged students. Because food justice is more than just providing and distributing food, their model seeks to positively impact the entire community through mentorship, job training, and partnerships to create sustainable change.


Want to volunteer with Harlem Grown? Their drop-in volunteer program is on Saturdays from mid-April through mid-November. No farming-skills are necessary! All you need is to bring yourself and a positive, can-do attitude. The program will be outdoors, rain or shine, but in the case of truly inclement weather, check their Facebook page.  If you're interested in organizing a group (5 or more individuals) to volunteer at Harlem Grown, please see Service Projects. More questions? Please see their FAQ for more information about volunteer opportunities at Harlem Grown.

Columbia Community Service Grantees

Adults and Children in Trust

provides a safe haven for children from many faiths, cultures and economic backgrounds to gather, learn, play and grow. 

America Scores

empowers students in urban communities through the practices of soccer, writing, creative expression, and service learning.

Arts & Minds, Inc.

is committed to improving the quality of life of individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Behind the Book

strengthens literacy in students attending underserved NYC public schools. 

Bloomingdale School of Music

provides high-quality music education at a reasonable cost to people in the greater New York City area regardless of background or financial circumstances.

Boys & Girls Club of Harlem

provides access and opportunities for youth to reach their full potential as responsible members of the community.

Broadway Community, Inc.

offers two dozen programs, including a doctor’s office, pantries, clothing, referrals, advocacy, and other emergency services for those in need. 

Broadway Mall Association

works to restore the public glory of New York City’s oldest and most traveled thoroughfare from the Upper West Side through Harlem to Washington Heights. 

Broadway Presbyterian Nursery School

provides a warm, friendly, experience-rich environment for children ages 2 to 5 years old in two classrooms. 

Cathedral Community Cares

combats and alleviates poverty through preventive services, education, and advocacy, specifically targeting the issues of health and hunger. 

Columbia University Tennis Development Program

has been offering high caliber, low cost tennis instruction every summer for over 25 years. Tennis instruction is open to all.

Community Impact

offers service opportunities to Columbia and Barnard students and provides emergency services and youth and adult education to members of the community.

Corpus Christi School

has served the families of its community and beyond for over 100 years, basing its instruction on the teachings of the Catholic faith and tradition.

Dances For a Variable Population

is a multigenerational dance company and dance organization that promotes strong and creative movement among people of all ages and abilities.  

Doing Art Together

aims to enrich the intellectual, social, and cultural development of under-resourced New York City children and youth through art.

Figure Skating in Harlem, Inc.

provides Harlem girls with vital educational and fitness opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage academic achievement. 

Friends of Hamilton Heights School

supports educational programs in the arts for the progressive elementary public school, Hamilton Heights School (HHS).

Friends of the Children, New York

is an early intervention program that screens and engages children, identifying those who are at the greatest risk of dropping out of school, becoming embroiled in the criminal justice system, or becoming teen parents.

Graham Windham

is the nation’s longest serving non-sectarian child welfare agency. Their mission is to make a life-altering difference with children, youth, and families affected by abuse, neglect, and delinquency.

Harlem Academy

is an independent school founded in 2004 to create an opportunity for bright, motivated children to have educational experiences that match the standards of the city's best preparatory schools. 

Harlem Educational Activities Fund, Inc.

 serves low-income students in New York City through a comprehensive continuum of academic support, youth development, and service-learning programs. 

Harlem Grown

is a independent organization whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands on education in urban farming.

Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership

is a youth service organization that uses lacrosse to empower at-risk youth from Harlem and the Bronx by providing a safe, structured environment to compete, learn, and develop into leaders in their communities. 

Harlem Renaissance Economic Development Corporation

celebrates Harlem's cultural and creative spirit by promoting jazz, R&B, literature, film, and visual art. 

Harlem School of the Arts

offers instruction in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts to young people, at low or no cost to eligible families.

Harlem Stage

is the performing arts center that bridges Harlem's cultural legacy to contemporary artists of color, and dares to provide the artistic freedom that gives birth to new ideas.


provides underserved students with hands-on science and engineering, educational and mentorship experiences so that they can thrive in the high tech economy of tomorrow.

Legal Outreach, Inc.

aims to prepare urban youth to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs to foster vision, develop academic skills, and enhance confidence. 

Lifeforce in Later Years, Inc.

is dedicated to community-based models of elder care, and works through the power of intergenerational partnerships.

Mandala Café

is a nonprofit committed to providing access, dignity, and mutuality around issues of food and employment.

Morningside Retirement and Health Services

helps frail and at-risk, elderly residents of Morningside Gardens remain comfortably and safely in their own homes with as much independence, and for as long as possible. 

NYC Kidsfest

is a free to the public performing arts festival whose mission is to enhance the lives of Morningside Heights and Harlem school children.  

New York Common Pantry

reduces hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.

PA'LANTE Harlem, Inc.

empowers residents of Harlem and Upper Manhattan to hold negligent landlords accountable for unsafe living conditions through community advocacy, and connecting individuals and tenant groups to free or reduced rate legal services and housing benefits.

Pellettieri Stone Carvers' Academy, Inc

promotes awareness and appreciation of the activity of stone carving and provides training in its traditional techniques.

Project Brownstone

is dedicated to the ongoing work of maintaining the legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. They aim to develop and empower underserved youth through holistic programming.

PTA of Hugo Newman College Preparatory

is a collaborative community of students, teachers and parents working together to ensure that every child meets their fullest potential.

Purple Circle Daycare Center, Inc.

is a non-denominational, parent cooperative day care center, founded in 1972, and licensed by the New York City Department of Health.

Red Balloon Daycare Center, Inc.

strives to be a model of exemplary early childhood practices, providing an emerging curriculum that is child-centered, developmentally appropriate, and play based. 

Rev. Linnette C. Williamson Memorial Park

protects a unique space in Central Harlem where children can have enriching experiences during the summer months in a nurturing environment.

Ricardo O'Gorman Garden and Center for Resources in the Humanities

provides a warm, safe, and nurturing environment to inspire confidence and a love of learning, imagination, and self-confidence in young children.

Riverside Language Program

offers professional development and English language training to speakers of other languages, especially recent immigrants and refugees.

Riverside Park Conservancy

maintains, restores, and renovates Riverside Park at Tiemann Place: the area between 125th street (St. Claire Place) and International House on East Riverside Drive (approximately 4 acres). 

Samaritan Daytop Village, Inc.

provides a continuum of services including health and mental health care, addiction treatment, treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), employment and housing.

Service Program for Older People

is the only agency in the New York metro area dedicated exclusively to geriatric mental health care and is the area's leading provider of long-term mental health treatment for home bound elderly.  

SNACK & Friends, Inc.

fills a void for those affected with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and similar disabilities, ages 3-21, by providing unique after school and weekend programs designed and staffed to address their needs.


unites a mix of individuals dedicated to the support and development of the Manhattanville Factory District by embracing the people, culture and the essence of West Harlem.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church

delivers meals by car or on foot from west to east, and informs people about other free services offered through the church, such as the medical and dental clinic and the free Friday night movie. 

StreetSquash, Inc.

is an after-school youth enrichment program that combines academic tutoring with squash instruction, community service, and 1-on-1 mentoring.

The Children's Learning Center At Morningside Heights

is a progressive, play-based preschool where children learn through the arts and hands-on exploration. 

The Family Annex

is a parent cooperative preschool that is affiliated with Columbia. Their philosophy is drawn from the Reggio Emilia approach, which relies on hands-on exploration and the concept of teachers and children as researchers. 

The Harlem Chamber Players, Inc.

is an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high caliber, affordable, accessible live music to people in the Harlem community. 


The Harlem Honeys & Bears Swim Team

is New York City's only 55+ African American senior citizens competitive synchronizing team that was established to address the health, fitness and well-being of Harlem seniors and youth.


The Reading Team

is dedicated to enabling young children who are at high risk of reading failure to become strong and enthusiastic readers, writers, listeners, and speakers.

Top Honors, Inc.

helps struggling New York City middle school students master the fundamentals of math through free tutoring.  

Uptown Inner City League

has been providing recreational programs such as baseball, basketball and flag football to the children within the Manhattanville community since 1990. 

WE ACT for Environmental Justice

builds healthy communities by assuring that people of color and/or low-income participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. 

Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation

promotes and provides opportunities for young people to learn, perform, and compete in the sport of gymnastics and its associated disciplines.

West Side Campaign Against Hunger

alleviates hunger and creates a culture that promotes self-reliance. They change our perception of hungry people by working in partnership with them, providing food with dignity, and empowering customers to find solutions. 

While We Are Still Here

connects people to and honors the legacy of African American achievement and its paramount importance to world culture.