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Nonprofits awarded $17.2 million in first half of 2015
By Chris Barnett / August 11, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded $17.2 million in grants to fund dozens of programs serving Rhode Islanders throughout the state in the first half of 2015.

As the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofits in the state, the Foundation works in partnership with donors and grant recipients to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island.

“We align the dreams of our donors with solutions to the challenges Rhode Island faces. By supporting innovation, collaboration and leadership, we make it possible for nonprofits to achieve the changes that are vital as the state moves forward,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Dozens of nonprofits received funding through the Foundation’s competitive strategy grant program, which targets seven key sectors: arts and culture, children and families, education, economic security, the environment, health and housing.

“From supporting the state’s vibrant arts and culture sector to making investments in work that guides Rhode Island’s planning for climate change, our grants focus on the issues that will drive our future,” said Jenny Pereira, director of grant programs.   Key strategy grants from the first half of 2015 are: 

The College Crusade was awarded $125,000 to support its work preparing nearly 4,000 low-income middle school and high school students in Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket for college and careers.

The Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island received $40,000 in support of Rhode Island Voices for Better Health, an ongoing collaborative initiative with the Rhode Island Organizing Project and the Economic Progress Institute. The project is working with state officials, medical providers and health insurers to ensure that low-income seniors and adults with disabilities are receiving appropriate and coordinated health care and the long-term services and supports they may need to live safely in their communities.

The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket was awarded $70,000 for its Pawtucket Literacy and Arts for Youth (PLAY) program.  PLAY enhances student literacy of K-12 students through a program of reading, writing, community-building and performances.

Dozens of other nonprofits received discretionary grants, which are awarded by the Foundation’s staff and directors. Through these grants, the Foundation invests in organizations and programs that strive for long-term solutions to significant community issues. The awards include:

More than $57,000 to organizations that serve the LGBTQ communities including Youth Pride, Family Service of Rhode Island and the Thundermist Health Center through the Equity Action Fund.

More than $200,000 to Newport County nonprofits including the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, the East Bay Community Action Program and the Visiting Nurse Services of Newport and Bristol Counties. The grants support work ranging from after-school activities and cleaning up Sachuest Bay to Alzheimer’s care and preventing relationship violence.

More than $25,000 to eight college students from Rhode Island for travel, study and public service projects through the Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Fund.

More than $176,000 to food banks, homeless shelters and free clinics that provide needy Rhode Islanders with basic human needs including the Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center in Pawtucket, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport and Welcome House of South County.

The Foundation's other grants include:

Arts and Culture

Community MusicWorks - $5,000
Newport String Project

Conanicut Island Art Association - $3,700
Art Speaks - A Lecture and Interactive Demonstration Series

Cultural Data Project - $12,628
Rhode Island Cultural Data Project

EmcArts - $34,000
Arts Leaders as Cultural Innovators Program

Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island - $10,000
The National Center for Reconciliation

FirstWorks - $85,000
General Operating Support

Flickers, the Newport Film/Video Society & Arts Collaborative - $4,000
Providence LGBTQ Film/Arts Community Outreach Program

Friends of the Broad Street Synagogue - $7,000
South Providence Jewish Archive

Jamestown Arts Center - $1,900
Sound, Camera, Action!

Kingston Improvement Association - $14,500
Fayerweather House and Potter Wood maintenance

Kingston Chamber Music Festival - $3,000
Kingston Lutheran Church Concert Program

Little Compton Historical Society - $10,000
New Stories of Enslavement in a Small New England Town

Looking Upwards - $1,000
Sharing Space, Sharing Art, Sharing Community

Newport Art Museum - $2,000
Groovy Girls art classes

Newport Festivals Foundation - $35,000
Newport Jazz Festival – Support for emerging artists

New Urban Arts - $3,000
Exploring identity through writing and art

Part of the Oath - $5,540
Strategic planning

Pettaquamscutt Historical Society - $10,000
Strategic planning and community outreach

Providence Preservation Society - $9,500
Strategic planning

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

Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre - $70,000
Pawtucket Literacy and Arts for Youth

Tavern Hall Preservation Society - $2,000
Renovations to reception room and shed

Trinity Restoration - $9,875
Board development and strategic planning

UPP Arts - $15,140
A Bridge to Engaging Communities around Water

Westerly Land Trust - $7,800
Tomaquag Museum partnership development

The Steel Yard - $10,000
10th-anniversary strategic plan

Children and Families

AIDS Care Ocean State - $5,000
Donation Center

Allendale Baptist Church Food Pantry - $5,000

Barrington Tap-In - $5,000
TAPIN Food Pantry

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State - $2,500
Newport County Girls Mentoring Matches

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

Butler Hospital - $5,000
Helping Hands Program

Capital City Community Centers - $5,000
Capital City Food Pantry at Chad Brown Center

Capital Good Fund - $5,000
Emergency Loans for Safe Housing

City of Newport - $3,500
Children's Night Summer Entertainment Series

Comprehensive Community Action Program - $5,000
Housing Assistance Program

Connecting for Children and Families - $5,000
Center for Financial Success

Day One - $10,000
Support for victims of sexual assault

Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County - $1,000
Advocacy for victims of domestic violence

Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island - $5,000
Refugee resettlement

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

East Bay Food Pantry - $5,000
Access Nutrition Initiative

FabNewport - $8,000
Family creative learning

Family Service of Rhode Island - $2,500
Free, rapid, and confidential HIV testing

Friends of Barrington Senior Center - $3,000
Assistance to the Barrington Senior Center

Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders - $9,000
Advocacy for LGBTQQI-Inclusive Policies and Guidance: Youth in State Care

Genesis Center - $5,000
Student Emergency Support Fund

Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England - $2,000
Newport Urban Outreach Program

Little Compton Community Center - $5,000
Teen Volunteer Corps of Little Compton

Little Flower Home - $5,000
The Safe Families for Children Program

McAuley Corporation - $10,000
Meal site and transportation

National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island - $6,365
Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning Program

New England Fatherhood Conference - $5,000
New England Fatherhood Conference registration support

Redwood Library and Athenaeum - $3,000
Enrichment toy collection and lending library

Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership - $10,000
Strategic planning and the Aquidneck Island Mentor Program

Seamen's Church Institute of Newport - $5,000
Human Needs Services Program

Southern Rhode Island Volunteers - $1,000
Independent aging services

Turning Around Ministries - $5,000
Supportive Services Program

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

Welcome House of South County - $5,000
Soup Kitchen and Meals for Emergency Shelter Guests

Woonsocket Protein Collaborative - $15,000
Woonsocket Protein Program

Economic Security

Brookings Institution - $150,000
Metropolitan Policy Program

Center for Dynamic Learning - $10,000
Organizational development

Capital Good Fund - $10,000
Organizational development

College & University Research Collaborative - $97,500
General operating support and evaluation

DESIGNxRI - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

EdTechRI - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

East Bay Community Action Program - $9,040
Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program

FabNewport - $25,000
Youth and adult STEM programming

Governor's Workforce Board - $40,000
Comprehensive system improvement plan

Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale – $4,000
Strengthening Board governance and strategic planning

Maritime Cybersecurity Center - $15,000
Cybersecurity Business Simulation Exercise

MedMates - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

Office of the Governor - $50,000
Lean Government Initiative

Rhode Island Manufacturers Association - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

Rhode Island Marine Trades Association - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

Social Venture Partners - $4,000
SEEED 2015 Summit

Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance - $20,000
Capacity Building Program

Tech Collective - $20,000
Capacity Building Program


Kingston Free Library - $3,900
Purchase audio books for adults and children

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center - $1,000
Cooking classes for food pantry clients

Boys & Girls Club of Newport County - $1,000
SMART Girls Etiquette Dinner

Women's Resource Center - $2,500
Court Advocacy for Victims of Domestic Violence

East Bay Community Action Program - $3,000
Even Start Family Literacy

Newport Community School - $3,718
Certified Nursing Assistant Vocational Training Program

Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy - $75,000
Meeting the Demand for Choice: Elementary School 3 Launch

Community Preparatory School - $5,000
Principals networking and peer support program

Rhode Island Mayoral Academies - $19,500
District-Charter Personalized Learning Project

Youth Pride - $10,000
Rhode Island Gay/Straight Alliance Network

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders - $10,000
Achieving national benchmarks

Katie Brown Educational Program - $5,000
Relationship Violence Prevention Education in Tiverton Schools

Common Fence Music - $5,000
Connecting the Beats - African-inspired drumming and dance

Star Kids Scholarship Program - $2,500
Tutoring for Newport County Star Kid Program participants

Boys & Girls Club of Newport County - $10,000
Chronic Early Absenteeism/Truancy Reduction Initiative (CEATRI)

City of Newport, Department of Education - $8,343
Pell Elementary School STEM Robotics Lab

Newport Community School - $5,000
Multi-Level Grade Transition Programming

Best Buddies Rhode Island - $3,000
Best Buddies Newport County Friendship Project

Save The Bay - $5,950
Big Fish of the Bay Exhibit & Curriculum Development

Junior Achievement - $5,000
Financial Literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship classes

Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England - $5,000
Newport Urban Outreach Program

Newport Partnership for Families - $4,400
Summer Learning Initiative Reading Reaps Rewards

Baby Steps - $10,000
Education & Enrichment Program

The Providence Plan - $10,000
Ready to Learn Providence Strategic Planning

Brown University - $10,000
Early Childhood Research Consortium

Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy - $7,490
Blended Learning Train-the-Trainer Program

Mariposa Center - $10,000
Strategic planning for program expansion and development

Achievement First - $50,000
Providence Mayoral Academy general operating Support

Center for Collaborative Education - $100,000
Scaling up proficiency-based graduation in secondary schools

URI Foundation - $50,000
Building Partnerships: STEM Education for the Next Generation

Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences - $61,423
Program support and expansion to East Providence

North Providence School Department - $102,740
Marine Trades Academy

Pawtucket School Department - $83,358
Dual Language Immersion Program

Blackstone Academy Charter School - $10,000
Expansion planning assistance

Books Are Wings - $9,000
Developing an evaluation system

Community Preparatory School - $25,000
Organizational development

Wheeler School - $35,800
Breakthrough Providence Program

Highlander Charter School - $10,000
Organizational development

Rhode Island League of Charter Schools - $12,471.67
2015 Excellence in Education Conference

Providence Community Library - $6,350
Knight Memorial Library/Gilbert Stuart Middle School Summer Tutoring Program

Resilient Kids - $33,370
Expand to Woonsocket Middle School

SouthSide Elementary Charter School - $35,000
Support the position of Education Director

South Kingstown School Department - $39,324
Developing a Dual Language elementary program

Warwick Public Schools - $43,060
Support for Common Core State Standards implementation

The Providence Plan - $25,000
Investing in Innovation: Empowering Families Program


Audubon Society - $35,000
Expanding fundraising capacity

Center for Ecosystem Restoration - $5,000
Sachuest Bay Coastal Resiliency Project

Clean Water Fund - $50,000
Enhancing Leadership for Community Resilience

Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy - $25,000
General operating support

ecoRI News - $3,000
Investigative Series: Environment and Economy

Norman Bird Sanctuary - $5,000
Environmental Education Program Expansion for 2nd Graders

Partnership for Providence Parks - $5,000
Seekonk River Shoreline Revitalization Project

South Kingstown Land Trust - $1,500
Biscuit City Pond trail improvements


Bayside Family YMCA - $4,700
Senior health and wellness programs at the Barrington Senior Center

Brown University Medical School - $75,000
Medical research

Comprehensive Community Action Program - $10,000
Developing models for primary care/behavioral health integration

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center - $7,500
Expanding nutrition education in Newport County

East Bay Center - $15,000
Children's Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

East Bay Community Action Program - $10,000
Patient Centered Medical Home Care implementation

Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island - $2,000
Patient Free Care Program

Medicaid-SCHIP Dental Program Representatives Association - $55,000
Increasing access to adult dental care through case management

Memorial Hospital - $7,635
Medical research

Providence College - $29,100
Medical research

Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition - $10,000
Promoting wellness policies, practices and programs in schools

Rhode Island Hospital - $105,000
Medical research

Rhode Island Interscholastic League - $115,000
Operation Clean Competition

Senior Agenda Coalition - $40,000
Rhode Island Voices for Better Health initiative

Sojourner House - $9,000
LGBTQ Outreach, Education, and Services to End Abuse

Thundermist Health Center - $14,000
Expansion of services

URI Foundation - $104,973
Medical research

Visiting Nurses Services of Newport and Bristol Counties - $5,000
Improving patient outcomes through in-service education

Visiting Nurses Services of Newport and Bristol Counties - $5,000
Barrington Community Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program

WellOne - $1,510
Health services for under-insured or uninsured North Smithfield residents


Lucy's Hearth - $4,000
General operating support

Direct Action for Rights and Equality - $20,000
Preventing foreclosures and homelessness

Providence Revolving Fund - $10,000
Five-Year strategic plan

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley - $500
Family Health and Wellness Initiative

Washington Square Services Corporation - $10,000
McKinney Cooperative Shelter

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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