Giving Circles Initiative FAQs

Can I facilitate a giving circle to solely benefit my nonprofit organization? 
The goal of this initiative is to increase philanthropy among peer groups throughout Rhode Island based on a shared interest. Part of the purpose of the group is to share information, thinking, and decision-making about how and where to give. Giving circles may choose to focus on a specific cause, geographic location, and/or community, but not formed to solely benefit a specific nonprofit organization. 

What types of organizations can receive a matching grant up to $5,000 from the Foundation?
$1:$1 match (up to $5,000) for donations collectively by the group made to 501(c)3 organizations serving Rhode Island. If a religious organization is chosen by the group, projects must be non-sectarian in nature and designed to reach beyond an institution’s core constituency. 

The Rhode Island Foundation believes that our community can best be served by charitable organizations that both reflect and serve the diversity of our community. We do not award grants to applicants or for programs that have a policy that discriminates against any person or group in any way that is either unlawful or inconsistent with the mission or values of the Foundation. 

Should I recruit members before submitting an application to lead a giving circle?

While it can’t hurt to gauge interest among potential members for your giving circle, it is not necessary to recruit prior to submitting an application.  A recruitment period is built into the 12-month timeline once giving circle leaders are selected.

I belong to an existing peer network (i.e. professional association, neighborhood association, social network). Can I apply for this opportunity to incorporate philanthropy into our existing activities?
Yes! Existing networks interested in increasing their philanthropy in Rhode Island are encouraged to apply. 


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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