Smart partnerships 

Strengthening services

Our responsibility to support our partner organizations – and Rhode Island’s non-profit sector more generally – can take many shapes. Occasionally, this means helping to facilitate an organization’s creative considerations of their long-term future.   

In 2012, the Rhode Island Foundation was able to play such a role in the merger of Dorcas Place and the International Institute. Both organizations had strong histories, deep community support, and long track records of public service: Dorcas Place Adult and Family Learning Center had provided literacy training and other supports to low-income Rhode Island adults for over thirty years, and the International Institute of Rhode Island had served southeast New England’s immigrant and refugee population for over ninety years. Located one mile apart on Providence’s Elmwood Avenue, the two organizations recognized that by combining forces they would be better able to meet the needs of their shared clients. The mergers took place with no staff layoffs, and today the Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island provides a range of critical services to Rhode Islanders in need. 

Assisting organizations in their efforts to combine can be complicated and challenging work, and we know the conditions must be right for a merger to ultimately strengthen the work of nonprofit organizations. But when those conditions are right – like they were in 2012 with Dorcas Place and the International Institute – we are proud of partners coming together to plan for a stronger future.


One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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