Letter from the President/CEO & Chairman
For the Rhode Island Foundation, 2013 was a year filled with inspiration and momentum. Looking back, we could not be more proud of our community and all of our partners. With the year’s many highlights, how could we not be charged up?
Programs Around the State
Around the state, programs that are proven to have impact are being brought to a larger scale. UCAP, a second chance school for kids at risk of dropping out, expanded its Providence facility to include a new science lab, art studio, and gymnasium. Sales for Market Mobile, Farm Fresh RI’s wholesale distribution program, rose from $225,000 in 2009 to over $1.5 million in 2013, and Farm Fresh is now leveraging their existing delivery routes to create a Farm to Food Pantry program. Year Up doubled the number of un- or under-employed young adults it serves. The Loan Forgiveness Program for primary care professionals took root; the program has helped 39 doctors, nurses, and physician assistants practice in Rhode Island. Riverwood Mental Health’s Housing First Rhode Island program is providing homes and wrap-around services for our state’s chronically homeless.
Programs with New & Innovative Strategies
The Highlander Institute is advancing the use of classroom technology and blended learning throughout Rhode Island. AS220, a nationally recognized arts organization, is partnering with Digital City RI to provide a co-working space for digital media professionals. The Washington County Regional Planning Council is exploring shared municipal services in the areas of streetlight maintenance and information technology. McAuley House is partnering with nutritionist Dr. Mary Flynn to provide healthy, low-cost meals for its guests to combat conditions like diabetes and heart disease which disproportionately impact those in poverty.
Thanks to the generosity and vision of philanthropists Letitia and John Carter, four Rhode Island Innovation Fellows are leading dynamic efforts to tackle local challenges. “We’re inspired by you – our donors, our grantees, the leaders of our community. Your vision of a better future and your philanthropy make us proud to be your partner.”
The Foundation is proud to champion programs like these that are transforming our state. And we are excited to see new leaders emerge in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors, with fresh new ideas, strong networks, and deep commitments to Rhode Island. That’s why we eagerly launched Rhode Island: It's All in Our Backyard in 2013. Backyard celebrates Rhode Island’s successes and strengths, (re)introducing industry stalwarts like 300-year-old Hope Global and 140-year-old Gilbane Building, local farmer Pat McNiff and aquaculturist Perry Raso, ever-evolving assets like TF Green Airport and McCoy Stadium, explorer Dr. Robert Ballard and scientist Dr. Jeff Morgan, growing startups like MojoTech and Andera, and new entrepreneurs like jeweler Loren Hope and Robin Squibb of Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea.
Your Generous Contributions
Thanks to you, the state of the Foundation is strong. Donors contributed $43.7 million in 2013. Donors started 73 new funds and 56 people pledged a portion of their estate to us, ensuring that their philanthropic legacies will last forever. We hope you will read their stories. Community organizations turned $31 million in grants into priceless programs and services. Generous contributions to our Civic Leadership Fund helped to support “beyond grantmaking” work like convenings, research, advocacy, and network-building. And Foundation assets stand at a record $790 million.
Guided by our directors, we set a new strategic course for the Foundation, one that builds on our work over the past several years and our proud heritage, and sets bold new challenges to meet the needs of Rhode Island now and in the years to come.
Certainly, Rhode Island continues to face significant trials and deep inequalities that threaten the well-being of our people and our future. We do not underestimate these challenges. But we see great cause for hope. Every day, we’re inspired by you – our donors, our grantees, the leaders of our community. Your vision of a better future and your philanthropy make us proud to be your partner. We thank you for sharing your generosity of spirit.
– Frederick K. Butler, Chairman & Neil D. Steinberg, President & CEO