Lead, Transform, Inspire

Founded in 1916, the Rhode Island Foundation is one of the nation's oldest and largest community foundations. We are Rhode Island's only community foundation and the largest funder of Rhode Island's nonprofit sector.

Jesse H. Metcalf
Jesse H. Metcalf

The Foundation was organized at the Rhode Island Hospital Trust Co. in June 1916 by a small group of prominent citizens. It was modeled after the first community foundation established in Cleveland two years earlier. "There is a growing belief that the charitable problems of each generation can better be, and should be, solved by the best minds of each generation," the founders wrote.

Jesse H. Metcalf, an industrialist and United States Senator, gave the Foundation its first gift of $10,000. Metcalf was a dominant influence in the development of American textiles and a well-known philanthropist and statesman.

In the first half of 2016, the Foundation made $18.2 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofits across the state, and we continued our commitment to address the state's most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities.

Our Mission

The Rhode Island Foundation is a proactive community and philanthropic leader dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island.

To advance our mission we work with many partners to:

  • Actively inspire philanthropy and increase permanent resources for the state of Rhode Island
  • Invest in important community programs through grants
  • Provide leadership and a forum for dialogue on critical community issues


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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