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Our Centennial

In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of our founding. We are proud to be Rhode Island’s community foundation and grateful to the many partners who have made our work possible over the past 100 years.

At the heart of a community foundation is community. Throughout the year, we will honor the people, places, and traditions that make Rhode Island special.

For all you have done for Rhode Island, thank you. We hope you will join us in celebrating our community!

100 Years, 100 Stories

Everyone has a story. Our 100 year history is comprised of many. Throughout 2016, we will share stories that highlight the many Rhode Islanders and partners who have contributed to our 100 year legacy.








We're helping them pursue their passions

We are always inspired by the passion and generosity our donors bring to the causes and organizations they care about, and few partners exemplify this spirit of passion more than Sandy and Dotty McCulloch.

Forging environmental coalitions

Environmental organizations, brought together by the Foundation in 2005 to identify ways to have a more effective voice, have addressed or are addressing water security, transportation choices, and green infrastructure.

RIGHA Foundation Fund: a healthy course

Preserving Rhode Island's open spaces

Closing the opportunity divide

Newport Jazz Festival: art and commerce

Reinvesting in the arts

Artist's legacy promotes arts and healing

Dedication to community

In Rhode Island, KIDS COUNT

More stories

Celebrating Community

Centennial Gift: A $10 Million Campaign to Restore and Preserve Roger Williams Park

In honor of our centennial, we are leading a $10 million campaign to preserve and enhance one of Rhode Island’s most treasured spaces, Roger Williams Park.

Comprised of over 435 beautiful acres, offering a range of recreational and educational opportunities, representing Rhode Island's rich history and the diversity of our people, the People's Park has attracted generation after generation of Rhode Islanders for over 100 years. There is great opportunity at Roger Williams Park to expand programming, improve infrastructure, and steward the Park for generations to come.

Learn more about the park and the campaign

Centennial Community Grants Program

We are celebrating our Centennial by funding projects that will bring life to Rhode Island's remarkable communities. We have awarded $500,000 in grants to fund community-building activities in every city and town. 

Grants up to $15,000 were granted to nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, and community agencies to fund efforts that will build bikes lanes, design walking tours, plant community gardens, install historical markers and monuments, and more. All the work that is being funded is expected to be completed before the end of the year.  

Check out the map and read the blog post to learn more about individual projects in your community.

Community Contributions

We are so pleased to introduce Community Contributions, a new series of guest posts by Rhode Island leaders, thinkers, and doers responding to this prompt: This is what's next

Two beliefs generated this series:

  • The best conversations are sparked when people connect on the level of ideas and values. Every day, we meet smart, courageous Rhode Islanders who share a deep commitment to our community, made manifest in thousands of different ways that are inspiring and important.
  • The Foundation’s centennial commemoration is as much – perhaps even more so – about looking forward as it is about celebrating the past. With you, we are eager to shape our next century and Rhode Island’s.

  • Guest bloggers were asked to reflect on their personal and professional experience, perspective, and aspirations for what challenges are, could be, or must be next for our community. They may direct their remarks toward Rhode Island, a specific issue area or community, or the Foundation.
If this series provokes a new idea or connection for you, we’ll consider it a success! Please join the conversation on social media using #RIF100.

Joe Garlick, Executive Director, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley


80 years ago, an immigrant fleeing deportation created a unique, enduring, and inspirational blueprint for Rhode Island’s communities and neighborhoods." View

Francis Parra, Executive Artistic Director, ECAS Theater, Providence


oexiste mucho potencial dentro de nuestras fronteras que pasa desapercibido mientras seguimos buscando por fuera soluciones a nuestros desafíos económicos." View

Read this post in English.


John Marion, Executive Director, Common Cause


efore we can solve the seemingly intractable problems of climate, education, or poverty, we need to fix our democracy." View

Taino J. Palermo, Program Director, Community Development, Roger Williams University | School of Continuing Studies


think it boils down to systems re-thinking. That sounds broad and lofty but there are very specific examples of how cities and states are innovatively approaching (and capitalizing on) the intersection of public systems and positively impacting whole demographic groups and communities." View

More Contributions

Centennial Happenings

Centennial News & Events

Ceramic tiles capture the spirit of one community

October 4, 2016

Four different panels were created; each depicting colorful scenes of town life like playgrounds and boating. These panels will welcome visitors to Jamiel’s Park, a 13-acre waterfront park in the heart of downtown.

Iconic Rocky Point arch unveiled – with fresh paint

September 27, 2016

The rust and graffiti has been replaced with a fresh coat of white paint thanks to one of our Centennial Community Grants.

New ways to tackle big challenges

September 7, 2016

Twenty Rhode Islanders from across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors recently participated in the Rhode Island Foundation-sponsored RISD Institute for Design and Public Policy to learn new ways to tackle big challenges.

View All Centennial Happenings


Join us in celebrating our community! See tweets and photos from Rhode Islanders joining our centennial celebration throughout the year.

Connect with #RIF100

Transform the present... and the future

The Fund for Rhode Island is the common fund for the greatest good of the community. It supports our mission to meet the needs of the people of RI…yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Donate to the Fund for RI

One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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