About Us

The Center for Transformative Action (CTA) helps to create communities that work for everyone. We do this by providing fiscal sponsorship to innovative social change agents in New York State, as well as financial, human resources, and grants management services.

CTA is an educational non-profit organization affiliated with Cornell University.

Our Vision

We envision change makers everywhere engaging and strengthening the power of the heart to remake the world.

Our Mission 

We are an alliance of individuals and organizations inspired by principles of nonviolence and committed to bold action for justice, sustainability, and peace. CTA supports change makers with the tools to build thriving, inclusive communities that work for everyone. We serve our projects, the public, and Cornell University by offering educational programs and strategic organizational resources.

Our History

Opening in 1971 as the Center for Religion, Ethics and Social Policy as an affiliate of Cornell University, our organization has supported innovative and experimental projects that provide constructive alternatives to society’s most pressing social problems. In 2006, we re-focused our vision to deal with a polarized global society and brought Transformative Action to the forefront of our efforts, changing our name to reflect our new vision.

Operating in the cradle of Cornell University, our Center plays a unique role, offering programs to Cornell University as an affiliate and serving as an incubator for  innovative social change organizations. We serve these organizations, the public, and Cornell University by offering educational programs and strategic organizational resources. In 2011, we expanded our fiscal sponsorship offerings to include organizations across New York State. 

Our Theory of Change

When we animate the power of our hearts to remake the world, bold actions result:

  • We find common purpose with others
  • Take pressing social problems in hand
  • Live our lives out loud
  • Listen deeply, act courageously
  • Transform ourselves and each other
  • And ultimately co-create thriving, inclusive communities that work for everyone.

At CTA, our projects and initiatives engage and strengthen the power of the heart to remake the world, and our services support bold change makers. Because Ithaca, Cornell University, and New York exist in a far-reaching network, the impact of those empowered through our programs ripples across the country and the world, transforming lives and communities. As we touch more students and engage change makers near and far, our impact grows. This is our vision for change.

Our Organization Model

CTA employs a hybrid organizational model. We are a non-profit but gain some cost recovery through the provision of business services to our Project Partners for which we charge an administrative fee.

To sustain the transformation activities of our organization, however, we mobilize other sources of funding which include income from a Cornell-held endowment, gifts from donors, and grants from the public and/or philanthropic sectors. Our Project Partners each develop their own funding sources within our non-profit structure.