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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. Over the next twelve months we will share stories that highlight the many Rhode Islanders and partners who have contributed to our 100 year legacy.








Planning for climate impact

With 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Island is increasingly facing the mounting effects of climate change...including rising sea levels, increased coastal and inland flooding that comes from intense storms, extended droughts, and longer and more intense heat waves.

Emergency grants at a time of need

Many Rhode Islanders were struggling during the Great Recession. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Foundation went above and beyond its usual grantmaking to help alleviate some of the stresses struggling Rhode Islanders were facing.

Partnering with professional leaders

Life income gifts: The gifts that give back

Informing RI on issues that matter

Grantmaking for women and girls

Total funds granted

Reducing municipal streetlight expense

A legacy for transforming experiences

Spreading charity at home

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.

James M. Ludes, Ph.D., Vice President for Public Research and Initiatives;
Executive Director, Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy, Salve Regina University


eadership today—and ever more so in the future—requires a commitment to service, a recognition that people depend on you for things big and small, and a willingness to see yourself in the lives of others..."  View

C. Morgan Grefe, Ph.D., Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Society


o me, what’s next might be realizing that some of the things we perceive as crises are actually symptoms, and that the true challenge in front of us is the identification of the real problems and the causes of those...Problem-solving skills must be next."  View

Marta V. Martinez, Executive Director, Rhode Island Latino Arts;
founding member and current chair, Juanita Sánchez Community Fund


hat’s next for Rhode Island’s Latino stakeholders and mentors is to acknowledge and support our youth by taking on this task: Education. Leadership Training. Empowerment. A Growing Economy. A Bright Future." View

A. T. Wall, Director, RI Department of Corrections


n response to the theme Now What? that the Foundation has set for these posts, I would say...Improving access to health care, developing essential educational opportunities, and generating meaningful jobs for all Rhode Islanders all help create the pathway to a productive and law-abiding life."  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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