Looking back on 2017

For Rhode Island,
for good.

Throughout 2017, you inspired us with your commitment to improving the lives of Rhode Islanders, and we are honored to be your philanthropic partner in these efforts.

Funds at Work

Each of our more than 1,600 funds has a story behind it and a purpose before it. Following are just three examples of our funds at work.

Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment

The inaugural Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment was awarded in 2017 to Rob DeBlois, director of the Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), “in honor of his decades of dedication, determination, and achievement on behalf of the youth of Rhode Island.”

The Prize is awarded for ”above and beyond achievement” by individuals or organizations that have proven themselves to be innovative and resourceful, implemented new ideas, or performed heroic deeds.

Read more about the the Murray Family Prize.

New Urban Arts Endowment Fund

New Urban Arts is a nonprofit community arts studio on Providence’s west side that offers free after-school and summer arts and youth development programs for low-income high school students. Of its recently-established endowment at the Foundation, Executive Director Daniel Schleifer says, “This endowment signals that we see ourselves as a permanent institution... (and) as essential to the health and vitality of Rhode Island."

Read more about the New Urban Arts Endowment Fund.

Fund for Rhode Island

Our Fund for Rhode Island, which supports our mission to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island, frequently is supplemented by additional funds when we make grants. This was the case when we awarded $49,000 to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for its Fostering Health Program that enables the hospital to address the special health needs of additional children in foster care. Ensuring everyone has access to the care they need to live healthy lives is one of the priorities of our Healthy Lives Strategic Initiative.

Our thanks to the donors who established these funds that are supporting the health needs of foster children.


A legacy gift helps ensure the future for Rhode Islanders for generations to come.

Alice Hall Allen, Class of 1935 Scholarship Fund

Through her will, Alice Hall Allen made provisions for graduates of Cranston High School East to have an opportunity she never had, the experience of attaining a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

Read more about Alice Hall Allen's story.

The 1916 Society

We honor and celebrate the members of our 1916 Society, individuals who have named the Foundation in their estate plans or have established deferred gifts. At our 2017 appreciation event, Elisabeth Harrison and Torey Malatia of Rhode Island Public Radio talked about the station’s work and the role of the free press in modern society.

Development Initiatives

From time to time, we identify specific fundraising opportunities that merit our attention and resources. We invite you to join us in these efforts.

Civic Leadership Fund

Among its work in responding to immediate needs, our Civic Leadership Fund (CLF) actively supports our Economic Security Strategic Initiative which strives to build a strong economic environment where all Rhode Islanders will prosper. Earlier this year, CLF funded an assessment of Rhode Island’s small business ecosystem.

To learn more, download our small business analytics and findings.

Related, the Center for Women & Enterprise, an Economic Security grantee, is dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses. The nonprofit organization was the recipient of our 2017 Community Leadership Award.



Campaign for Roger Williams Park

We thank all the generous donors who are helping to preserve and enhance Roger Williams Park. Among recent donations, a gift from the Norman and Rosalie Fain Family Foundation is designated for the Japanese Garden, while a gift from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is supporting the installation of fountains in the Park.

Read more and view photos about the campaign to restore and preserve Roger Williams Park and see why The Champlin Foundation was named recipient of our Centennial Champion Award.

We were proud again this year to host RWP Pops with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. This celebration of community at the Park’s Temple to Music was enjoyed by more than 7,000 people. Read more about our efforts to build community with music.


Our partners – donors, professional advisors, grantees, and other engaged Rhode Islanders – make our work possible.

Professional Advisors

We are grateful to the planning professionals who partner with us when working with charitably-minded clients. At our 2017 professional advisor appreciation breakfast, we shared highlights of our ongoing investment in the development of school leaders in Rhode Island through our Educational Success Strategic Initiative. We were honored to recognize the Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants with our 2017 Harold B. Soloveitzik Professional Leadership Award.

Letitia and the late John Carter

We are indebted to philanthropists Letitia and John Carter for the trust they have placed in the Foundation to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. The Carters established several innovative programs – the Carter Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Carter Spark Grants, and Carter Roger Williams Initiative and Scholarship – in their commitment to make Rhode Island a better place for all. We are saddened by John’s recent passing and will miss his wise counsel, generous spirit, and enthusiastic support for Rhode Island.

Planning for the Future

As we close out our one hundred and first year, we renew our commitment to meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island and look to the future with hope and optimism.

Starting the Conversation

"When we get together, we talk about movies we’ve seen and books we’ve read. We talk about our favorite restaurants, about our kids, our work. But we don’t talk about philanthropy – about the issues and charities that we care most about. We don’t talk about how and where we give. I want to start that conversation.”
– Ross Mattis, great grandson of Frederick B. Wilcox

Read more about Frederick B. Wilcox and watch the video from our 2017 annual meeting where his family received our Inspiring Partner Award.

We asked, you answered, and we’re listening!

Thank you to the hundreds of donors who participated in the recent Donor Perception Report administered by The Center for Effective Philanthropy. We appreciate your high marks and positive comments. Even more, we appreciate your thoughtful input of how we can do our work even better as we work – with you – to continue to move Rhode Island forward.

With appreciation and purpose, we look forward to our continued partnership in addressing Rhode Island’s most pressing issues and the needs of our diverse communities.