Organization Endowments

Three and a half decades ago, the late Joseph Brown led the effort to establish an organization endowment at the Foundation for Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, an organization he helped found in 1969.

The organization started with $100 contributions from each of five churches, 17 clients, and 10 volunteers. Today, its 800 volunteers deliver nearly 1,500 meals each weekday; in 2014, it served 316,000 meals to some 2,300 clients.

Its endowment at the Foundation, the Rhode Island Meals on Wheels Memorial Fund, also has seen significant growth. Started with $5,000 in 1981 and additional gifts of $180,000, the fund has paid out more than $400,000, including grants of more than $20,000 each of the past 10 years. Its current balance is more than 100 times the original gift.

"We have a pot of money that comes to us every year from the fund. For each of the past several years, it's allowed us to provide an additional 2,500 to 3,000 meals to the elderly, homebound Rhode Islanders we serve," states Executive Director Heather Amaral.

"There's also a second level of value – a safety net – as we know the funds will be granted each year. It's nice to have that security and, generally speaking, the grant increases a little every year," she continues.

Joseph Brown, who was active with Meals on Wheels for more than 30 years, died in 2014. The endowment, Heather says, "feels like a connection to Joe. His foresight is continuing to benefit the organization." And it will in perpetuity!

Meals on Wheels is just one of more than 150 Rhode Island nonprofits that has established an organization endowment at the Foundation. All benefit from the following:


The Foundation is one of the country's oldest and largest community foundations. As part of an investment pool comprised of more than 1,500 endowments, the organization can participate in the longstanding stability that has made us one of the most prominent institutions in Rhode Island.

Fund recognition

The Foundation enjoys the high regard of financial advisors, donors, and nonprofit organizations alike; many nonprofit leaders have found that an association with us has helped their development efforts.

Professional investment expertise

The Foundation's asset size affords access to some of the country's foremost investment managers and a portfolio that is carefully diversified among a broad range of asset classes.

Management for permanence

The Foundation has established a strict spending policy to help ensure that each fund's value has every opportunity to outpace inflation while maintaining consistent income.

Capacity building

Organization can take advantage of a variety of educational programs, free of charge, through our Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence focused on developing capacity, leadership, and systems.

Planned giving support

Our development team offers expert assistance around planned gifts such as bequests, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities, beneficiary designations, and other complex gifts to help organizations customize charitable planning solutions for their endowment fund donors.

The Foundation offers two endowment options for nonprofits: our "traditional" endowment that we administrator for more than 100 organizations and the newer "flexible" endowment which allows organizations access to principal. Both endowments are designed to provide a funding source for nonprofits today and in perpetuity.

We are proud to be investing for these community partners!


One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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