Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Richard J. Gladney Charitable Endowment Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 22, 2019 /   Loading Disqus...

"Life is short. Who we are and what we do to help others is important. We should try to do as many good things as we can," Richard Gladney shared with us when we talked in 2005. Rick died in 2018 at the age of 63, but had put his philosophy into practice for many years through extensive volunteering and financial support of direct service organizations.

Born in Minnesota, Rick lived in Barrington for the past 54 years. He attended Barrington Public Schools, followed by the University of Rhode Island where he majored in elementary education and economics, graduating in 1976. It was while he was at URI that he met his future wife, Karen Ferri, who grew up in Warwick.

Following college, Gladney worked at Amica for two years before entering the brokerage business, first with Kidder Peabody, followed by Morgan Stanley, and later Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly Wachovia Securities) where he was senior vice president-investment officer of the Gladney Consulting Group. 

Rick told us he liked the flexibility of his job - flexibility that allowed him to volunteer weekly at City Meal Site. Of his "waiter role" at the soup kitchen, he said, "I get a kick out of it. It's very rewarding. I love being involved where you can really help somebody."

He also was active with the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Rhode Island for more than 20 years, served as chair of the Rhode Island Foundation’s Professional Advisory Council, was an ambassador of the United Way of Rhode Island, and in 2005 was named a Community Hero by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

"My mother is really where I learned philanthropy," he related. "My mother was always helping all types of people - the sick and elderly. She did a lot and instilled that in us [her children]." It’s a value he passed on to his children, Kristin, Kyle, and Eric.

"You give what you can. It's very rewarding to give," he noted. It’s a legacy that will be carried on by Karen and their children through this donor advised fund.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Rhode Island Foundation announces six recipients of college scholarships in the name of Roger Williams Posted last month
    The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched two years ago by philanthropists Letitia and late John Carter.
  • Rhode Island Foundation awards $285,000 to Newport County nonprofits Posted last month
    The grants, through our Newport County Fund, will underwrite a host of activities ranging from workforce training and after-school activities to preventing relationship violence and protecting vulnerable seniors.
  • $2.6 million awarded for behavioral health care Posted last month
    Six nonprofit organizations will use $2.6 million in grants to support primary and secondary prevention models and high-quality, affordable behavioral health care services across the state. The funding is the first from the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.
  • Vision and commitment Posted last month
    Hundreds of community and business leaders, donors, grant recipients, and other partners gathered at the Rhode Island Convention Center on May 16 for our 2019 Annual Meeting. Here are highlights of what our President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg told them.
  • Rose Fund grants stimulate civic and cultural dialogue Posted 2 months ago
    The primary goals are to strengthen libraries and other civic, cultural and literacy-focused organizations and expand their role as community centers that stimulate dialogue around critical issues.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up