The foundation’s first funds

Thanks to our donors, the Foundation has a long history of meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island dating back 100 years. Here’s a glimpse of the first types of funds the Foundation welcomed over a century ago.

In 1916, Jesse H. Metcalf opened our first fund with a generous $10,000 gift to create the Jesse H. Metcalf Fund, an unrestricted fund to support the grantmaking work of the Foundation. Other funds soon followed. Several supported education, a cause that continues to be an integral part of the Foundation’s work today. Among those early funds are the Providence High School Scholarship Fund, a designated scholarship fund opened on January 1, 1922 for the Providence School Department for scholarships; the Godfrey B. Simonds Fund, opened on March 10, 1926 for educational and charitable purposes; and the Providence Council of Parents and Teachers Scholarship Fund, a scholarship fund opened on November 17, 1926 for the assistance of worthy pupils in Providence Public High Schools.

The Foundation also welcomed funds that addressed the needs of particular organizations and purposes. On January 1, 1927, the Richard M. Bowen Fund was established for the support of the Rhode Island Fruit Growers Association in sharing knowledge of fruit growing and fruit marketing throughout the state. A bequest from Mr. James M. Carpenter, a Pawtucket resident who ran the James E. Carpenter Tap & Die Company for many years created the Carpenter Fund on January 1, 1927. The Carpenter Fund aims to benefit Pawtucket charities in honor of Mr. Carpenter’s home town.

In addition to receiving funds designated for specific purposes or causes, the Foundation also received many unrestricted funds. These types of funds give the Foundation the most flexibility in its grantmaking efforts. Early examples include the Fannie M. Schrack Fund opened on January 1, 1928, the Helen E. Talcott Fund of January 1, 1930, and the Ella M. Lapham Fund opened on January 1, 1933.

Today these funds continue to support causes for that which they were created, ensuring their legacy lives on, and forever impacting the future of Rhode Island.


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