Rhode Island Foundation Makes a Record $31 Million in Grants in 2013

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Foundation has announced that it awarded more than $31 million in grants last year, the most in the organization’s 97-year history. More than 1,300 nonprofit organizations received funding.

As the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofits in the state, the Foundation works in partnership with donors and organizations to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island. The Foundation also had its third-best fundraising year ever in 2013, raising $43.7 million in new gifts from individual, organizational and corporate donors, up from $38 million in 2012. At the end of 2013, the total assets stood at more than $780 million.

Of the $31 million in grants, nearly $11.4 million was awarded in discretionary grants directed by the Foundation’s staff and directors, including:

  • $325,000 awarded to the Highlander Charter School for its Center for Blended Learning initiative;
  • $200,000 for services to persons who are blind;
  • $75,000 to develop and implement outreach activities for the Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan (Beach SAMP), which will address the threats of erosion and flooding caused by storm events and sea level changes;
  • $351,000 to food banks, homeless shelters and free clinics to provide needy Rhode Islanders with basic human needs;

The Foundation made another $19.7 million in donor-directed grants last year, up from $17.3 million in 2012.

“We are grateful to our dedicated donors for joining with us to take on the state’s challenges and opportunities,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “Their inspiring generosity enabled us to invest in Rhode Island as never before.”

Community Leadership

In addition to grantmaking and fundraising, community leadership is central to the Foundation’s activities and business. In 2013, the Foundation raised $264,089 in the second year of its annual Civic Leadership Fund, which enables the Foundation to go beyond traditional grantmaking to provide leadership and a forum for dialogue on critical community issues.

The fund supported the Foundation’s Make It Happen RI initiative, which had several major achievements last year. The Foundation announced the last of $1 million in grants to jumpstart 19 economic development initiatives, launched the positive “It’s All In Our Backyard” public awareness campaign and convened a series of focus groups to develop a new economic action agenda that was released last month.


“Make It Happen continues to move forward on its goal of creating jobs and jumpstarting the economy. It has sparked collaborations in digital design, manufacturing and health sciences that already are producing results,” said Jessica David, the Foundation’s vice president of vice president of strategy and community investments.

Strategy Grants

Under its competitive strategy grant program, the Foundation invests in organizations and programs that strive for long-term solutions to significant community issues. In 2013, nearly $5.6 million was awarded to nearly 100 Rhode Island nonprofits.

Strategy grants fell into six sectors: arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health, and human services. Additionally, the Foundation supported signature initiatives in two areas it believes are critical to the state’s economic wellbeing: public education and primary health care.

“We are proud to support the work nonprofits do tackling the crucial issues confronting our state. Through strategic investments in their activities, we are working together to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders,” said David.

A list of strategy grants from the first half of 2013 is posted at www.rifoundation.org.  The strategy grants since July 1, 2013 are:

2nd Story Theatre

$35,000 – General Operating Support

Supports increasing staff, board recruitment and fundraising following an expansion that added another stage and a workshop.

Amos House

$28,500 – Project RENEW

Supports attempts to reduce prostitution and funds HIV prevention, case management and referral services for female commercial sex workers.


American Diabetes Association

$49,920 – Senior Signature Series

Provides older adults in northern Rhode Island with or at risk for developing diabetes with information about how to lower their risk of diabetes and its complications.



$75,000 – Culture Connects Us

Funds new initiatives including offering consulting services, building a database of past, present and future supporters and designing an open-source enterprise data system to increase the organization’s operational efficiency and effectiveness.


Brown University

$94,835 – A Longitudinal Clinical Experience for Medical Students

Enables medical students to maintain relationships with patients, fellow students, medical practices and providers.


Center for Southeast Asians

$35,000 – Victim Assistance Program

Helps Southeast Asian adolescent girls and young women form healthy relationships with dating partners and develop family communications in order to reduce interpersonal violence.


Child and Family Services of Newport County

$60,000 – General Operating Support

Assists teens with issues such as truancy, substance use, emotional disturbance and teen pregnancy.


Childhood Lead Action Project

$30,000 – Lead Poisoning Funding Sustainability Campaign

Supports work with the statewide coalition of stakeholders to advocate for continued state funding for the Healthy Housing and Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.


Clean Water Fund

$45,000 – Don’t Waste Rhode Island

Supports work on four core issues including strengthening the regulations that apply to collection of mercury thermostats and engaging the public and municipal officials in the 2014 implementation of a new paint collection and recycling program.


Community MusicWorks

$70,000 – General Operating Support

Supports work strengthening the community through music education and performance in some of the most economically challenged neighborhoods of Providence.


Community Preparatory School

$10,000 – Summer Programs

Helps inner-city 7th– and 8th-graders prepare for high-school entrance examinations.


Community Works Rhode Island (CWRI)             

$15,400 – AmeriCorps

Promotes foreclosure prevention and home ownership counseling services and launching financial literacy related initiatives to mitigate vacancy rates within CWRI’s housing portfolio


Connecting for Children and Families

$50,000 – Rhode Island Partnership for Community Schools

Supports a statewide alliance that will work on five key issues including providing online technical assistance for starter community school programs and promoting best practices, professional development and advocacy.


Conservation Law Foundation

$50,000 – General Operating Support

Supports advocacy for coastline protection, responsible off-shore wind development and reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.


Direct Action for Rights and Equality

$16,000 – Tenant and Homeowner Association

Underwrites work to reduce foreclosure-based evictions.


Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island

$25,000 – Strengthening Rhode Island through Job Training for Immigrants and Refugees

Supports job training programs for low-income, adult immigrants and refugees.


East Bay Community Action Program

$16,000 – Newport Skills Alliance

Supports the case management component of the Newport Skills Alliance, which provides approximately 50 students with technical skills training, job readiness training and contextualized reading and math.


Economic Progress Institute

$75,000 – General Operating Support

Supports efforts to promote workforce development and enrollment in the Affordable Healthcare Act insurance.


Environment Northeast – RI

$45,000 – Rhode Island State Priorities

Funds work on targeted opportunities that will produce a cleaner, more sustainable environmental and economic future for the state.


Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island

$30,000 – Community Environmental College

Eight weeks of leadership training including interactive class activities, field trips, guest speakers, internships, and hands-on projects that will build the next generation of environmental justice leaders.


Farm Fresh Rhode Island

$30,000 – Harvest Kitchen

Provides adjudicated youth with jobs skills training, mentoring and internships in order to lower juvenile recidivism rates and empower low-income youth to join the growing local food economy.


Foster Forward

$50,000 – Real Connections for Younger Foster Children

Provides youth in danger of aging out of the state’s foster care system with permanent and meaningful adult connections.



$29,000 – Fusionworks Residency Program

Funds 6-8 week programs that incorporate modern dance education into existing school curriculum.


Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

$15,000 – Implementation of Marriage Equality in Rhode Island

Funds education to facilitate the implementation of Rhode Island’s new marriage equality law.


Genesis Center               

$39,900 – Building Adult Services Program

Increases the capacity of the Genesis Center to serve more adult clients with job preparedness, training, placement and retention services.


HousingWorks RI

$75,000 – Program Support

Supports the production of well-researched and well-designed products, such as the Housing Fact Book, that inform Rhode Island’s housing policy deliberations.


Learning Community Charter School Inc.

$185,764 – District-Level Partnerships: Bringing The Learning Community’s Professional Development Initiative to Scale

Supports expansion of professional development opportunities.


Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC)

$200,000 – General Operating Support

Enables LISC to offer community development corporations and other developers of affordable housing a full package of financial and technical resources to pursue financially and socially sound housing developments that stabilize neighborhoods and attract complementary investments.


Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island

$99,129 – Pilot Testing Adolescent Patient Centered Medical Home

Improves access to and delivery of adolescent physical and behavioral health services through primary care medical homes.


Nature Conservancy

$45,000 – General Operating Support and Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future

Supports conservation programs and provides career training for the next generation of conservation leaders.


Newport Partnership for Families

$24,383 – Newport Partnership for Families Organization (NPPF) Development Implementation Plan

Facilitates a broad public understanding of the NPPF’s role as a community resource.


Preserve Rhode Island

$43,000 – Rhody Ramble III

Strengthens the Historic Sites Coalition of Rhode Island by building the capacity of individual member sites and increasing collaboration among its members.


Providence After School Alliance

$10,000 – Strategic Development Planning

Supports the creation of a comprehensive development strategy focused on growing the organization’s base of local donors.


Providence Plan              

$130,000 — Rhode Island DataHUB

Supports completion of a data center that will include indicators in sectors such as arts and culture, education and health care.


Read to Succeed

$10,000 – Read to Succeed Summer Reading Program

Addresses Providence’s academic achievement gap by encouraging summer reading by low-income, predominately minority students.


Rhode Island College

$50,000 – Rhode Island System of Care Transformation

Enables the state Department of Children, Youth and Families to divert children from state care and ensure they are safely supported in their home, community and school.


Rhode Island Community Food Bank

$50,000 – General Operating Support

Supports the agency’s acquisition and distribution of nearly 10 million pounds of food to its member agencies in FY 2014.


Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH)

$45,000 – Strengthening the Humanities in Rhode Island

Funds operational support for the Rhode Island Center for the Book (RICfB), the creation of a business plan for the partnership between RICH and RICfB and the development of a joint initiative to promote humanities learning and engagement as Rhode Island schools implement the Common Core curriculum.


Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services

$129,628 – A Pediatric Patient Centered Medical Home Collaborative

Support the launch of the Pediatric Patient Centered Medical Home Collaborative, an innovative, all-payer medical home demonstration project for children and their families.


Rhode Island Food Policy Council

$58,000 – Building and Strengthening a Sustainable Local Food System

Supports the work that the Rhode Island Food Policy Council and its network of work groups, committees, partnerships and collaborations do building a sustainable, local food system.


Rhode Island Hospital Foundation

$50,000 – Rhode Island Hospital Hepatitis C Virus Collaborative Pharmacy Practice Initiative

Increases the Rhode Island Hospital Hepatology Clinic’s staffing in order to provide more Hepatitis C Virus patients with medication therapy management services.


Rhode Island Public Radio

$75,000 – Education and Health Care Reporting

Underwrites the station’s education and health care reporting.


Rhode Island Land Trust Council

$25,000 – Fostering Collective Impact and Advocating for Innovative Land Conservation Funding

Funds work on issues including safeguarding protected lands and creating an innovative funding stream for land conservation.


Rhode Island Natural History Survey

$16,896 – RHODY NATIVE

Promotes the long-term health of Rhode Island’s environment by encouraging the purchase and use of locally sourced and grown native plants.


Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre

$35,000 – Pawtucket Literacy and Arts for Youth

Supports an arts-based literacy program that serves approximately 3,000 Pawtucket students in grades K-12 that connects them more deeply to the literature they study and helps them form stronger bonds with classmates.


Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre

$29,900 – Rhode Island Teaching Artist Center

Provides teaching artists with training, mentoring, job-share opportunities and assistance with marketing and professional development.


Save The Bay

$75,000 – General Operating Support

Supports Save The Bay’s Environmental Policy and Marine Science Education Initiatives.


Stop Wasting Abandoned Property

$50,000 –Capacity Building

Promotes new marketing approaches and new funding guidelines in order to reinvigorate the South Providence housing market.


Teach for America

$75,000 – Recruitment and Training of Diverse Teachers in High-needs Areas

Supports recruiting and training of diverse teachers in high-needs area.


Tides Family Services

$51,480 – Information Systems Implementation Project

Supports upgrading of the agency’s IT systems in order to enable it to better serve its high-risk, statewide, youth- and family-client population.


Trinity Repertory Company

$50,000 – Discovering New Audiences and Building Sustainability

Supports a marketing campaign to expand the organization’s customer base.


VNS Home Health Services

$46,562 – In Home Behavioral Health Pilot

Increases the clinical resources for serving patients with comorbid depression and anxiety in Washington and Kent counties.


Washington County Regional Planning Council

$45,000 – Regional Services

Funds completion of a strategic plan, implementation of an energy-saving initiative around streetlights, expansion of the Regional Information Technology program and research for the Regional Revaluation Assessment project.


Women’s Resource Center

$65,000 – Primary Prevention Institute

Supports integrating services to prevent teen dating violence, sexual assault and bullying into existing youth service programs.


Year Up               

$50,000 – Capacity Building to Support Increased Enrollment and Services

Supports services for 160 young adults enrolled at Year Up Providence and 80 alumni.

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