GCRI Corporate Members Fidelity, Tufts Health Plan Give Back on Annual Days of Service

Tufts Health Plan Employees Tackle 35 Projects in 4 States

In honor of the Tufts Health Plan (THP) Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2018, employees of Tufts Health Plan set an ambitious goal of 10,000 volunteer hours for the year.

After a very successful annual service day, THP is more than halfway to its goal.  This year’s record-setting Volunteer Day engaged 773 Tufts Health Plan employees in giving back to communities–in total 2,100 hours through 35 projects in 4 states–all in one day.

Pictured above are employee volunteers cleaning up the playground and outdoor areas at Federal Hill House in Providence; they were getting the grounds ready for summer camp. Other projects included building beds for children; prepping gardens that will supply healthy, local, affordable food; sorting donated food, clothing and toys for families living in poverty; and making paracord survival bracelets for deployed service members.

Fidelity Employees Assist Over 100 Nonprofits on Fidelity Cares Day

1,600 Fidelity employees in New England, joined colleagues around the globe to assist 110 nonprofits for the company’s annual service day.  A total of more than 8,000 employees globally provided services that will benefit over 15,000 students and almost 1,000 teachers.

In Rhode Island, Fidelity worked with United Way of Rhode Island to provide financial success fairs at Connecting for Children and Families and Genesis Center, assistance in building an outdoor classroom with DownCity Design, refurbishing a community center with Partnership for Providence Parks, and meal packaging for Project Outreach.

February and March Program Opportunities

GCRI Program Opportunities

Meet the Funders — February 15, 5:30-8:00pm, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI

Federal and State Budget Impact on RI Communities — March 29, 9:00-11:00am, Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island

Catalyst Group Meetings

CyberGrants Users Group webinar on reporting — February 15, 2:00pm

Employee Engagement Conference Calls — February 27, 9am and March 27, 9am

Early Literacy and RI Reads — February 26, 3:00-4:30pm, United Way

Financial Empowerment — March 6, 9:00-10:30am, United Way

Partner Webinars

Hurricane Harvey Recovery Funder Briefing Webinar
Monday, February 12, 3:00-4:00pm
In addition to a recovery update, this briefing will focus on research that is helping to identify community needs. Funders will have an opportunity to share their work and to ask questions of each other at the close of the briefing. Speakers include Traci Brasher, TEM, Recovery Division Director FEMA Region 6;  and Shao-Chee Sim, Ph.D., Vice President for Applied Research at Episcopal Health Foundation.  Sponsored by The Simmons Foundation and Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

Going Public:  Overcoming the Foundation Transparency Challenge – Webinar
Thursday, February 22, 2:00-3:00pm
Join United Philanthropy Forum and Foundation Center for the “Going Public: Overcoming the Foundation Transparency Challenge” webinar. This program will begin with a compelling case for greater transparency; provide an overview of the powerful and free tools designed to help you improve the transparency of your foundation’s online presence; demonstrate a free tool for assessing your foundation’s online transparency practices (how will yours stack up?); and highlight examples from foundation peers that have been active in creating greater openness at their foundations.  Calls for greater transparency and accountability in the philanthropic sector are nothing new, but today as people access greater quantities of information online, public expectation is rapidly growing about what information is made available.   And today’s reality is that transparency and openness are not only trending, but revolutionizing the world around us. From user experience designed websites to Twitter to LinkedIn to the explosion of the blogosphere, shared networks and open data are transforming the way we shop, learn, and connect with each other.  There is also the deeper conversation about the nature of openness in our philanthropic relationships versus just being transparent about our work.  Openness referring to more of a relationship between philanthropy and their grantee partners and the communities they serve.   While many of us generally agree that transparency is a virtue, figuring out how to assess and improve existing foundation transparency practices can be a challenge. Attend this webinar to learn about free tools that are designed to help philanthropy work more openly, efficiently, and effectively.

Other Events in the Philanthropy Sector

Everything I Needed to Know..But Nobody Told Me:  A Retreat for New Foundation Staff — 2/25-27, Ardmore, OK.  Sponsored by Philanthropy Southwest

Grantmakers Concerned for Immigrants and Refugees National Convening — 2/27-3/1, Los Angeles

Funders Together to End Homelessness Funders Forum — 2/28, Los Angeles

Funding Forward (LGBT Funders) — 3/14-3/16, New Orleans

AACP: The Conference (corporate philanthropy) — 3/18-3/21, Portland, OR

CFUnited (community foundations) — 3/18-3/21, Las Vegas

PEAK Grantmaking Annual Conference (grants management) — 3/19-3/21, Orlando

Resource Generation’s Transforming Philanthropy (younger generation members of family foundations) — 3/22-3/25, Pomona, CA


Best for Rhode Island Launched To Support Socially Responsible Business in RI

Best for Rhode Island Launched To Support Socially Responsible Business in RI


GCRI is excited to be a partner in the new Best for Rhode Island initiative launched at the December Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.  Best for Rhode Island initiative is a statewide campaign that equips businesses to assess and improve their positive social impact.

Through a confidential online assessment – the Best for RI Challenge – the business practices of participating entities are evaluated in four key areas – governance, workers, community and the environment. Participants are then able to develop targets for improvement, receive free assistance to help them meet their goals, and are publicly celebrated for their participation and improvement.

“We are thrilled to be launching Best for Rhode Island in collaboration with business and community organizations across the state,” says Britt Page, the program director for Best for Rhode Island. “Social Enterprise Greenhouse believes that every business in Rhode Island, regardless of industry, size, or location, can and should be thinking about ways to enhance its positive social impact. We’re excited to help shed light on the great things our business community is doing already, and to assist participating businesses in reaching their improvement goals.”

Best for Rhode Island is an initiative of Social Enterprise Greenhouse in partnership with GCRI, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and a coalition of business and community organizations across the state. The program and online assessment were developed by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that developed the highly regarded B Corp Certification. B Lab’s “Best for” program is currently being piloted in three other locations in the U.S. – New York City, Philadelphia, and Colorado – and other communities are in the planning stages for launching their own “Best for” programs.

The Best for Rhode Island initiative is made possible through generous support from GCRI member Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), Virgin Pulse, Worldways Social Marketing, and other corporate and individual sponsors. Each of these sponsors is a leader in the movement to use “business as a force for good,” and is helping to position Rhode Island as a great place to live and work and to launch and grow a socially responsible business.

“At Blue Cross, we take social responsibility very seriously, and strive to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us by investing and participating in the local community, improving the health of Rhode Islanders, valuing and modeling diversity and inclusion, and minimizing our impact on the environment,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director of Community Investment at BCBSRI. “What we find most appealing about Best for Rhode Island is that it will help all businesses – large and small – to positively impact our state in meaningful ways. We’re honored to support this initiative because we believe that good business is good for business and more importantly, good for Rhode Island.”

“Rhode Island has provided a promising business environment for Virgin Pulse, and we want to pay it forward by being a good neighbor, collaborative partner, and strong advocate for social responsibility and community involvement,” said David Osborne, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Pulse. “Virgin Pulse clients and members all over the globe are using our technology to help change lives and businesses for good. We’re thrilled to extend our purpose to include what’s Best for Rhode Island.”

Mark Marosits, Co-Founder of Worldways Social Marketing, comments, “Best for Rhode Island reminds us that every enterprise has the opportunity to be a force for social good, and that Rhode Island can be the epicenter of this global movement.”

Congratulations to Inaugural Common Good Award Winners

GCRI Members Receive Common Good Awards

GCRI’s membership was well-represented in the inaugural Common Good Awards — GCRI member Rhode Island Foundation helped Rhode Island Monthly honor businesses that inspire philanthropy in their employees, by encouraging volunteerism and doing good deeds out in the community that seldom make the headlines.

Recipients included GCRI members Coastway Community Bank and Hasbro, and another member, CVS Health received an honorable mention.  Another GCRI member, Citizens Bank, was the presenting sponsor for the event.

We know that GCRI members are philanthropic leaders in the state, so we’re always glad to see their tremendous work recognized.  Congratulations!



Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Highlights Women’s Stories, Releases Community Investment Report

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Teams with American Heart Association to Highlight Women’s Stories

As part of a new initiative, Blue Cross is encouraging Rhode Island women who have survived heart disease or stroke to share their stories, with the hope that other women will be inspired to make changes to protect their health and support the important work of the American Heart Association.  Through the Heart2Heart campaign, Blue Cross will donate a total of $25,000 to the AHA’s Go Red for Women Luncheon in the name of the selected Heart2Heart survivors.  Please encourage your networks to share their stories at https://www.bcbsri.com/heart.

Blue Cross Releases Community Investment Report

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s new Teaming up for a Healthier Rhode Island, highlights the company’s community investments and volunteer service for the 18 months from January 2016 through June 2017.

Through its BlueAngel Community Investment Program, BCBSRI supports nonprofit organizations and programs that address critical health issues facing Rhode Islanders, from childhood obesity to health literacy, to quality care for the uninsured. The report also highlights the company’s efforts to mobilize its employees to benefit Rhode Islanders.

In September, BCBSRI employee volunteers worked on volunteer projects across the state for Blue Across Rhode Island, the company’s annual service day.

Since BCBSRI started this annual day of service six years ago, BCBSRI employees have performed more than 18,000 hours of volunteer service to 44 nonprofit organizations around the state, and typically over 75% of the BCBSRI workforce volunteers each year.  BCBSRI provides a minimum of 35 volunteers and a charitable gift of $5,000 to each agency participating in Blue Across Rhode Island.

View NBC10 story about how the employee volunteer efforts helped another GCRI member, LISC, in the development and building of outdoor play areas at three area early child care facilities in Rhode Island.

See the list of groups and how they help Rhode Islanders.


GCRI Members Support Relief Efforts

GCRI Members Support Relief Efforts

Tufts Health Plan Foundation

The Tufts Health Plan Foundation matched employees’ contributions to nonprofit organizations providing hurricane relief to communities affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma.  150 Tufts Health Plan employees and board members donated nearly $23,000, and the Foundation match meant that $45,000 were given for relief efforts.  Hurricane Harvey donations were given to the American Red Cross, Massachusetts Chapter.  For Hurricane Irma, the donation was given to One America Appeal.    

Tufts Health Plan was also one of the first organizations to partner with the Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico effort, committing a minimum of $50,000 to this effort to help Puerto Rico, which was hit by both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.  The Tufts Health Plan Foundation will match two-to-one employee donations to nonprofit organizations providing relief in Puerto Rico.  The Foundation match will be directed to The Latino Legacy Fund at The Boston Foundation, which is partnering with the Alliance for Puerto Rico to support those who have seen their community devastated by the recent storms. Money raised through this fund will be distributed immediately for relief efforts and deployed during the next two years for reconstruction and economic recovery projects. Additionally, the fund will make grants to support resettlement efforts here in Massachusetts in response to the substantial migration of Puerto Ricans who are expected to arrive here in the months ahead.


Collette matched employee donations up to $5,000.  The company’s foundation is also making a donation of $10,000 to Save the Children for their efforts in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.  Save the Children provided supplies and resources to support children in shelters, and will be supporting organizations providing trauma support for children and families as they recover and rebuild.  They will also be providing funding and support to rebuild childcare facilities affected by the flooding.


Through its Play Relief program, Hasbro donated 15,000 toys and games to hurricane shelters and family support programs.  Employees volunteered to pack the kits.  Hasbro also donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross and matched employee donations up to $25,000.

Pawtucket Credit Union

Pawtucket Credit Union is matching employee donations to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.

CVS Health

GCRI Member CVS Health has deployed emergency pharmacy resources and general assistance to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. A mobile pharmacy unit was set up outside the NRG Center in Houston, where evacuees were now able to pick up prescriptions, purchase over-the-counter medications and receive recommended vaccines.

CVS Pharmacy Deploys Additional Pharmacy Resources to Impacted Communities Following Hurricane Harvey. Mobile Pharmacy Unit Ready to Assist Patients at NRG Center in Houston.

Additionally, CVS Pharmacy, in cooperation with the Texas Department of State Health Services, will provide pharmacy services to Texas residents who have been displaced by the Hurricane through “pop up” pharmacies that are being deployed at emergency shelters in AustinDallas and San Antonio. “Pop up” pharmacies place pharmacists and pharmacy personnel at the shelters to counsel patients and facilitate the delivery of prescriptions from nearby pharmacies. These new actions follow a donation from the CVS Health Foundation announced earlier this week of $200,000 towards relief and recovery efforts, which includes $50,000 each to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the American Red Cross, as well as $25,000 to Salvation Army, to aid the greater Houston area in supporting local residents as they begin the recovery and rebuilding process. The CVS Health Foundation will also match colleague donations up to $25,000.  In addition, CVS Health has donated more than $90,000 worth of in-kind products including personal hygiene, clean-up and over-the-counter items to area shelters and continues to work with shelters throughout Texas to support those displaced.

CVS also provided toiletry and hygiene donations to those displaced by the California wildfires.

Bank of America

GCRI Member Bank of America’s Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts have included sending mobile financial centers and mobile ATM’s to the region, and nearly $2 million in donations from the company, its foundation and its employees.  The company is matching employee donations through an internal program, and to date, bank employees have donated $457,000, matched dollar for dollar by the company for a total of $914,000. Those funds will be distributed to charities selected by the donating employees.  That amount is in addition to $1 million in relief funding provided by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, with $250,000 directed through the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the remainder to be allocated as the company learns more about specific recovery needs.

“We are activating our resources to bring relief to the individuals, families, customers and communities that will continue to be impacted by the unprecedented challenges Harvey is creating across the region,” said Hong Ogle, Houston market president for Bank of America. “We are humbled and heartened by the outpouring of support.”

United Way Worldwide

  • United Way Worldwide has established multiple funds for relief and recovery efforts.  There is a United Way Worldwide Mexico Earthquake Recovery Fund, a United Way Irma Recovery Fund that also includes Hurricane Maria, and United Way Harvey Recovery Fund.  The Hurricane Harvey Fund began disbursing support in mid-September.  All three funds are accessible from unitedway.org/recovery.


LISC has committed $100 million to Hurricane Harvey recovery work, both in Houston and in hard-hit rural counties in Texas and the Gulf Coast.  It will be working with new and existing partners and funders to expand this investment through grants, loans and equity assistance—especially in underinvested communities, where LISC has a long history.  More info

If you are a GCRI member, and have been active in supporting hurricane relief efforts in other ways, let us know!

Rhode Island Foundation and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI Team Up to Recognize Nonprofit Excellence

Nonprofit organizations have until July 24 to apply for the Rhode Island Foundation’s 2017 Best Practice Awards. Winners will receive a $1,000 grant, a promotional video highlighting their work and tuition waivers for professional development workshops.

“This is a powerful way for nonprofits to showcase their innovative work while sharing achievements that have the potential to be of widespread value to other organizations,” said Jill Pfitzenmayer, vice president of the Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence (INE).

Sponsored by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the annual awards program recognizes outstanding practices by Rhode Island nonprofit organizations in the areas of advocacy, communication, innovation, leadership development and collaboration. The application and full details are posted here.