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Nonprofits receive a record $34.8 million in grants last year
By Chris Barnett / February 19, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation awarded more than $34.8 million in grants last year, the most in the organization’s 98-year history. More than 1,400 nonprofit organizations received funding.

As the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofits in the state, the Foundation works in partnership with donors and organizations to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island. The Foundation also raised $33.7 million in new gifts from individual, organizational and corporate donors last year. At the end of 2014, total assets stood at more than $800 million.

"We are grateful to our dedicated donors for joining with us to take on the state’s challenges and opportunities," said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. "Their inspiring generosity enabled us to invest in Rhode Island as never before."

Many of the awards were made under the Foundation’s competitive Strategy Grant Program, which targets seven key sectors: arts and culture, children and families, education, economic security, environment, health and housing. Through these grants, the Foundation invests in organizations and programs that strive for long-term solutions to significant community issues.

YouthBuild Providence received $80,000 to develop a statewide dropout recovery policy to prepare young people to re-enroll into a high school diploma program. In addition to the policy work, YouthBuild plans to convert its existing GED and multiple-pathway programs into a full-fledged charter high school serving young men of color age 16 to 21.

WellOne of Burrillville was awarded $70,000 to add a pharmacist to its primary care service delivery team. The goal is to improve the quality of care delivered to patients while lowering their health care costs. The program will focus on patients taking four or more medications concurrently.

Hope and Main of Warren received $85,000 to provide technical assistance to tenants of its culinary business incubator. The grant will fund consultants and program-related expenses to provide technical assistance on issues such as recipe adaptation, packaging design, food safety and product marketing.

“From fostering Rhode Island’s thriving food sector to investing in the state’s capacity to prepare its youth for productive lives, our grants advance issues that will drive Rhode Island’s future,” said Daniel Kertzner, vice president for grant programs.

Much of the Foundation’s support came in the form of discretionary grants, which are awarded by the Foundation’s staff and directors.

The awards included nearly $440,000 from the Program for Animal Welfare to 27 animal welfare programs across the state including PAAWS RI. The Warwick nonprofit was awarded $35,000 to underwrite the cost of providing veterinary assistance to the animals of low-income pet owners as well as routine medical attention, shelter and adoption services.

The Foundation awarded nearly $375,000 in capacity-building grants to nonprofit groups including the Center for Southeast Asians, the Westerly Land Trust and the Art Connection in R.I.

Another $348,000 was awarded to food banks, homeless shelters and free clinics that provide services to needy Rhode Islanders including the East Bay Community Action Program, the Salvation Army and the Jonnycake Center of Peacedale.

In addition to grantmaking and fundraising, community leadership is central to the Foundation’s activities and business. In 2014, the Foundation raised a record $308,843 in the third year of its annual Civic Leadership Fund, which enables the Foundation to go beyond traditional grantmaking to provide leadership and a forum for dialogue on critical community issues. Among CLF’s ongoing projects are the "Make It Happen" economic development initiative, an ongoing "Community Conversations" series and the “It’s All In Our Backyard” campaign.

“We are grateful to our CLF donors for recognizing that change can require many different approaches. The ability to seize opportunities enhances the work our nonprofit partners are already doing,” said Jessica David, the Foundation’s vice president of strategy and community investments.

Arts and culture

Common Fence Music - $5,000
Connecting the Beats Program

Cultural Data Project - $12,600
Rhode Island Cultural Data Project

FirstWorks - $150,000
General operating support & support for FirstWorks Festival on the Plaza

Fusionworks - $28,000
In-school dance residencies

Hispanic Heritage Committee of RI (HHC-RI) - $5,000
Salary for agency director to coordinate program activities

Jamestown Arts Center - $4,000
Heifetz on Tour Residency Program

Manton Avenue Project - $9,500
Strategic planning consultancy

Newport Art Museum - $44,660 
Market research

New Urban Arts - $40,000
General operating support to deepen youth engagement

Pawtucket Overpass Art Project - $25,000
Public art on I-95 highway bridge

Preservation Society of Newport County - $60,000 
Create Newportal, a cultural on-line database

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School - $85,000
General operating support

RiverzEdge Arts Project - $10,000
Community engagement

Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum - $12,000
Growth & Change for the 21st Century: Fund Development

Urban Pond Procession - $16,000
Urban Pond Procession 2014

Basic human needs

Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, Inc. - $5,000
BVCAP Emergency Food Pantry

Butler Hospital - $5,000
Helping Hands

City Meal Site Inc. - $5,000
Emergency meal program

Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County - $15,000 
Emergency assistance and strategic planning

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center - $15,000 
Feed a Friend Food Pantry and Food 2 Friends Programs

East Bay Community Action Program - $8,000
Backpack feeding program and food pantry program

East Bay Food Pantry - $10,000
Access Nutrition Initiative

Elisha Project Ministries - $5,000
Food pantry and meal site

Genesis Center - $5,000
Student emergency fund

House of Hope Community Development Corporation - $50,000
Harrington Hall meal program

Jewish Seniors Agency of Rhode Island - $5,000
Louis and Goldie Chester Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry

Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale - $5,000
Emergency food pantry and client services

Khadarlis - $4,800
Basic human need household retail donation program

Lighthouse Community Development Corporation - $2,500
Basic needs - food pantry

Lucy's Hearth - $10,000
Nutrition program for at-risk mothers and their children

McAuley Corporation - $10,000
Emergency support - meals & transportation

Mental Health Association of Rhode Island - $5,000

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island - $5,000
Neighborhood Health Plan of RI Family Emergency Fund

Newman Congregational Church - $3,000
Bread of Life Food Pantry

New Hope Chapel - $5,000
New Hope Food Pantry

Operation Stand Down Rhode Island - $8,000
Food for homeless & low-income veterans

Providence School Department - $3,000
Mary E. Fogarty "Adopt-A-Box" Food Pantry Project

Rhode Island Community Food Bank -- $50,000
General operating support

Rhode Island Lions Sight Foundation - $5,000
RILSF Statewide Eye Exam and Eyeglass Assistance Program

RICAN - Rhode Island Center Assisting for Those in Need - $5,000
Emergency outreach programs

Salvation Army - $20,000
Food assistance

Salvation Army - $75,000
Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund

South Providence Neighborhood Ministries - $5,000
Direct services homelessness & hunger relief program

St. James Episcopal Church at Woonsocket - $10,000
Woonsocket Protein Program

St. Mark's Episcopal Church - $2,200
St. Mark's Outreach

St. Vincent de Paul - St. Charles Borromeo Church - $5,000
Woonsocket Protein Program

Tri-Town Community Action Agency - $5,000
Qualified Assistance Fund

Washington Park Citizens' Association, Inc. (WPCA) - $5,000
Emergency assistance for Providence residents in need

Westbay Community Action - $20,000
RI Vet Corps

Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) - $5,000
Critical community needs program

Westminster Unitarian Church - $5,000
The Sharing Locker, a non-food initiative

Women's Resource Center - $80,726
Primary Prevention Institute and emergency assistance

Woonsocket Protein Collaborative  - $15,000
Emergency food pantries

Children and families

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State - $2,500

Boys & Girls Club of East Providence  - $10,000
Capacity building

Center for Southeast Asians - $50,000
FARE (Families Advancing Racial Equity)

Connecting for Children and their Families - $69,711

East Bay Community Action Program - $9,900
Family development capacity building

Parent Partners - $9,500
Parent-to-parent mentoring

Newport Partnership for Families - $24,383
Strategic planning

Providence Children's Museum - $52,100
Families Together Program

Rhode Island Parent Information Network - $10,000
Strategic intellectual technology discovery and planning

St. Mary's Home for Children - $10,000
Funding for our future

Economic security

Bryant University - $40,000
RI Manufacturing Renaissance Project - Phase III

Building Futures - $75,000
Building Futures registered apprenticeship maximization in Rhode Island

Capital Good Fund - $9,500
Technology to put the customer first

Center for Women & Enterprise - $30,000
Rhode Island's one-stop community for women-owned businesses

College & University Research Collaborative - $75,000
College & University Research Collaborative

Digital City RI - $30,000
DC206 digital media co-work space and community center

Genesis Center - $10,000
Capacity building

OpportunitySpace, Inc. - $7,000
Public wealth: unveiling government land and buildings of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Commerce Corporation - $25,000
Design & manufacturing center

Tango RI - $100,000
Tango RI, a shared database and online suite of tools for individuals, businesses, and organizations

Turning Around Ministries Inc. - $4,000 
A Better You Program

Education success

American Federation of Teachers Foundation - $50,000
Educator Evaluation for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (E3TL) Consortium

Amos House - $50,000
Start-up funding for SouthSide Elementary Charter School

Autism Project of Rhode Island - $5,200
Board retreat and development support

Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - $50,000
Supporting Scholar Success at BVP's Next Generation High School

Brown University - Annenberg Institute for School Reform - $75,000
Providence Children and Youth Cabinet

Business Innovation Factory - $50,000
Student Design For Education

Center for Southeast Asians - $5,000
Emerging Principals Group

College Visions - $45,000
College Visions Lab

Community Preparatory School - $5,000
Peer Principals Group

Community Preparatory School - $10,000
Summer programs

East Bay Community Action Program - $15,000
Training family advocates and Even Start activities

Highlander Charter School - $30,000
Center for Blended Learning

IdeaLab - $10,000
College Completion Collaboration Experiment

International Charter School - $40,000
Expanding Opportunities: Developing Global Citizens- Phase 2

Learning401 - $5,000
Create a digital library and story portfolio

Meeting Street Center, Inc. - $10,000
Meeting Street strategic planning initiative

Newport Community School - $42,000
Pets & Vets curriculum

Northern Rhode Island Collaborative - $42,000 
Strategic planning

Paul Cuffee School - $10,000
Paul Cuffee School strategic planning - Phase 2

Providence Community Library - $10,000
Knight Memorial Library study of HVAC systems and ADA compliance

Read to Succeed - $20,000
Read to Succeed Summer Reading Program

Resilient Kids - $8,400
Strategic and funding plan development 2014-2018

Rhode Island League of Charter Schools - $20,000
Sixth Annual Rhode Island Public Charter School Conference

Rhode Island Mayoral Academies - $50,000
RIMA general operations

Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College Charter School - $10,000
Boosting school media presence

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School - $90,000
Inclusion and engagement activities

RiverzEdge Arts Project - $10,000
Strategic planning and communications

The College Crusade of Rhode Island - $75,000
General operating support

The Providence Plan - $25,000
Investing in Innovation (i3): Empowering Families

Young Voices - $4,300
Technological capacity for fundraising and long-term sustainability


Audubon Society of Rhode Island - $10,000
Consulting assistance for Audubon's Campaign for the Future

Coalition for Transportation Choices - $50,000
Transit funding reform

Environment Council of Rhode Island, Education Fund - $75,000
Stormwater Coalition: Boldly Implementing Green Infrastructure

Jewelry District Association - $5,000
city WALK: Branding and urban design

Land Trust Alliance - $10,000
Rally, the national land conservation conference

Rhode Island Land Trust Council - $35,000
Land conservation

Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy - $7,500
NHC foundational development and planning

Rekindling the Dream Foundation - $55,000
Lots of Hope urban greenhouse

Rhode Island Land Trust Council - $35,000
Land Trust Excellence Program

Save The Bay - $5,000
Economic feasibility study of the STB Exploration Center and Aquarium

Southside Community Land Trust - $10,000
South Providence; Healthy Kids, Healthy Planet

URI Coastal Resources Center - $50,000
Rhode Island Shellfish Management Plan - Phase 2

URI Coastal Resources Center - $75,000
RI Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan Year 2

Washington County Regional Planning Council - $75,000
Streetlights reform implementation and regional convenings


Bayside Family YMCA - $3,600
Senior Health and Wellness Program

CareLink, Inc. - $90,000
Quality indicators and innovation

Community Care Alliance  - $70,000
Affinity, Unite, Bridge, Assist Program

Comprehensive Community Action - $50,000
In-home medical services

Foster Care Mental Health Clinic - $64,556
To meet the behavioral health needs of youth in foster care.

Friends of Little Compton Wellness Center, Inc - $5,000
Strategic plan development

HealthRight - $75,000
HealthRight: Amplify, Drive, Catalyze, Engage Health Care Reform

IN-SIGHT - $75,000
Vision assessments and independent living training

Justice Assistance - $85,000
Provide a full range of medical, mental and behavioral specialties to probationer violators

Lifelong Learning Collaborative - $5,000
Healthy Aging Lecture Series

Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center - $7,000
Health Policy Learning Collaborative

Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center - $8,500
Services for transgender patients

Ocean State Center for Independent Living - $65,000
Vision-impairment services

Rhode Island Association of Facilities for the Aging Education/Leading Age RI - $1,300
LeadingAge RI strategic planning initiative

Rhode Island Health Center Association - $25,000
Rhode Island Health Professional Loan Repayment Program - matching funds

Rhode Island Hospital - $45,000
Mental Health Link: An Integrated Treatment Program for Young Adults

Rhode Island Student Loan Authority - $200,000
Education loan repayment program for health care professionals

Rhode Island Lions Sight Foundation - $5,000
Vision care

Saint Antoine's Residence- $55,000
Health Care Training Collaborative

Saint Elizabeth Community - $5,500
WellCare at Saint Elizabeth Place

Thundermist Health Center - $38,914
Teen-pregnancy education and primary care

University of Rhode Island Research Foundation - $50,000
Developing RI PhD nurse leaders to transform health care

Visiting Nurses Services of Newport and Bristol Counties - $5,000 
Health promotion and disease prevention

Women & Infants Hospital - $66,000
Cancer Patient Navigator Program


House of Hope Community Development Corporation - $40,200
Organizational development

HousingWorks RI - $75,000
Housing affordability research

Local Initiatives Support Corporation - $200,000
Neighborhood Development Fund Program support

Olneyville Housing Corporation - $85,300
Merger of Olneyville Housing and Community Works RI into ONE Neighborhood Builders

Operation Stand Down - $20,000
Furnishing affordable housing for disabled vets

Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation - $24,000
PCDC/REACH merger facilitation

Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless - $40,000
Public policy advocacy and foreclosure prevention and education

Stop Wasting Abandoned Property - $65,000
Affordable housing production

Westerly Area Rest Meals - $40,000
Greater Westerly Supportive Housing Initiative



Grow Smart Rhode Island - $90,000

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT - $125,000

The Economic Progress Institute - $75,000

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

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