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Our Centennial

In 2016, the Rhode Island Foundation celebrated 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 2016, we honored the people, places, and traditions that make Rhode Island special.

For all you have done for Rhode Island, thank you. 

100 Years, 100 Stories

Everyone has a story. Our 100 year history is comprised of many. Throughout 2016, we shared stories that highlight the many Rhode Islanders and partners who have contributed to our 100 year legacy.








A strong foundation for early learners

Research shows that early childhood programs can play an important role in preparing our youngest scholars for success in school and beyond. The Foundation is pleased to help by investing in the learning and development of today’s youngest learners.

Preserving health care: Neighborhood Health Plan of RI

Citing studies that revealed low-income Americans have considerably less access to the world’s most expensive health care system, the Rhode Island Foundation helped devise a plan to bring the services of Neighborhood Health Plan to low-income Rhode Islanders.

Early Foundation leaders

LGBTQ equality: 'This is a human issue'

Investing in quality

A father's philanthropic legacy

The roots of RI social venture philanthropy

Leading the charge

Responding to tragedy with compassion

A powerful force

More stories

Celebrating Community

Centennial Gift: A $10 Million Campaign to Restore and Preserve Roger Williams Park


In honor of our centennial in 2016, 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 celebrated our Centennial by funding projects that will bring life to Rhode Island's remarkable communities. In 2016, we awarded grants to fund community-building activities in every city and town. 

Grants were made 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. 

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.

Ted Almon, President & CEO, The Claflin Company


here are countless thorny questions involved in any attempt to streamline a system of the scale and longevity of our healthcare system." View

Curt Columbus, Artistic Director, Trinity Repertory Company


t's no surprise to any Rhode Islander, indeed, to any American, that we've witnessed a profound shift in our local communities in the last several decades." View

Armeather Gibbs, Senior Community Development Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Director, Working Cities Challenge in Rhode Island


iverse communities across our state are part of the fabric that make Rhode Island a great place to live, work, and raise families." View

Ron St. Pierre, Host, NewsRadio 920 Morning Show


aving worked in talk radio for over 30 years, most here in Rhode Island, I’m afraid I’ve become more of a pessimist than an optimist regarding the future." View

More Contributions

Centennial Happenings

Centennial News & Events

Plugging into the community

July 21, 2017

We award a $15,000 Centennial Community Grant to the City of Newport to create the “Plug Park,” a temporary stop for people looking to recharge themselves or their electronic devices.

Marker trail points the way to the future for fishing industry

June 2, 2017

Our grant enables the commercial fishing community of Galilee to create a new walking trail featuring 10 interpretive sign panels that promote the local seafood industry.

Community is alive and well in Roger Williams Park

May 1, 2017

On April 22, over 150 volunteers joined the Roger Williams Park Conservancy for the City of Providence’s Annual Earth Day Clean Up at Roger Williams Park.

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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