Leave a Legacy

We celebrate and thank the members of our 1916 Society.
At an appreciation luncheon, members of our 1916 Society heard from Jennie Johnson, executive director of City Year Providence, about the work of her organization and the impact it has on those it serves. Learn more.

Someone gave. Someone donated. Someone left a legacy.

Generations of generous “someones” have helped shape Rhode Island into this amazing place we all call home. You never met them, but these people made our state better.

How do you thank people you have never met? How do you repay a place and keep it strong?

By leaving your own legacy for people who will never meet you in the place you called home.

This is what the Rhode Island Foundation has done for generations of generous Rhode Islanders. Setting up a legacy gift is simple and deeply satisfying. Our experienced staff can work with you—and your lawyer or professional advisor, if you wish—to support your favorite organizations or causes…forever. All while ensuring that you are providing for family members, realizing tax savings, and more.

There are a variety of options available: name the Foundation in your will or trust, make it the full or partial beneficiary of an insurance policy or retirement plan, or make a deferred gift through a charitable remainder trust or gift annuity that can pay yourself or a loved one income for life and then establish a named endowed fund upon your passing.


Naming the Foundation in your will or trust is simple. A charitable bequest can be for a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or what remains after other bequests - including those to family members - are made. Or your will or trust can specify that your heirs receive lifetime income from your estate, with the remainder going to the Foundation for charitable purposes.

Retirement fund assets

Retirement fund assets from qualified plans or IRAs are ideal for charitable giving purposes because these assets are most heavily taxed. They offer an opportunity to avoid income and estate tax while giving a significant gift.

Charitable remainder trusts

Charitable remainder trusts appeal to donors with appreciated assets such as real estate or securities. They allow you to receive income (or provide income to another person) with the knowledge that the funds remaining when the trust terminates will be used to support your charitable interests. (The Foundation also can assist with charitable lead trusts which support your charitable interests now, leaving remaining trust assets to you or your heirs.)

Charitable gift annuities

Charitable gift annuities are a contract between you and the Foundation, guaranteeing you or someone you name a certain fixed income for life. At the death of the last annuity recipient, assets will be used by the Foundation as you originally specified.

Life insurance

Life insurance can be used as a charitable asset, enabling you to be eligible for a charitable tax deduction based on the current value of the paid-up policy. Or you can simply name the Foundation as beneficiary of part or all of the insurance proceeds.

Please note that the Foundation does not provide tax or legal advice. We encourage you to talk with your professional advisor.

The 1916 Society

Rhode Islanders who name the Foundation in their estate plans or establish deferred gifts become members of the 1916 Society. These individuals are acknowledged as special partners in philanthropy, are recognized on our "Legacy Wall" at One Union Station, receive invitations to special events, and have access to Foundation staff members as a resource for charitable giving. Meet our members.

Each year, we celebrate and thank the members of our 1916 Society – for their foresight, generosity, and commitment to civic engagement. Learn more and see photos from our recent recognition event.


I love it here. I'll be happy to leave my legacy to ensure the future of area organizations that I truly care about."

- Jane Nelson, 1916 Society member, fund holder

Funds established through planned gifts

Unrestricted Fund

Frederick B. Wilcox

Frederick B. Wilcox Endowment Fund

Frederick B. Wilcox's "way with investments" and careful stewarding through the years by his daughter, Nancy Mattis, resulted in the largest unrestricted gift to the Foundation in our 100-year-history.

Designated funds

Frederick B. WilcoxBarnet Fain Funds

One of Barnet Fain's earliest community interests was in Temple Habonim; later in life the Providence Art Club became important to him. Those two organizations are beneficiaries of funds he created through estate planning. 

Field of interest fund

George and Mary Bond

George H. Bond and Mary K. Bond Fund

This endowment, created from the estate of Mary Bond, forever will support arts and culture, as well as two places very special to George and Mary.

Donor advised fund

Robert H.I. Goddard and Hope Drury Goddard

Robert H.I. Goddard and Hope Drury Goddard Fund

“We all learned to give back early in our careers through his example,” says Moses Goddard of his late father, Robert H.I. Goddard. This fund assists the next generation of the Goddard family in continuing that commitment to community.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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