Centreville Bank Awards $180,000 in Grants

GCRI member Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded $181,900 in grants to eight Rhode Island organizations with missions ranging from social services to education to environmental protection.

Recipients included Child & Family Services in Middletown for the Bridges to Success Independent LIving Program; Friends Way for bereavement support and operational support; Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston to replace and enhance digital technology at three youth/skill centers; Sojourner House for rapid rehousing of victims of sexual abuse, assault and trafficking; San Miguel School for scholarships; ONE Neighborhood Builders for homeownership promotion and financial education; and Save the Bay for out of school programming.

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

 

LISC Rhode Island Grants, Initiatives and People Recognized

LISC Grants, Initiatives and People Recognized 

LISC Rhode Island awarded Amos House $476,000 to implement its Bridges to Career Opportunities (BCO) model, a comprehensive education and support program designed to provide tailored services to move people into employment. The new grant is part of $72 million in funding awarded to 32 organizations through the U.S. Labor Department’s Reentry Project, which is focused on evidence-based opportunities to reduce recidivism.

Read more in  ProJo feature

With this funding, Amos House will be able to expand its job training and education programs and integrate them with the Financial Opportunity Center offerings, a highly successful program developed by LISC that helps participants with job placement, financial coaching, and access to public benefits. Amos House will adapt the BCO model to address the specific needs and services necessary for individuals recently released from prison.

“As a result of this funding, Amos House will provide intensive wraparound supports related to barriers specific to the re-entry population,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of LISC Rhode Island.  “Participants will be able to complete the education and skills training components of the Bridges to Career Opportunities program and transition to employment.”

With a grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), LISC launched its Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model nationally in 2010 and featured several sites in Rhode Island, including Amos House.  FOCs provide clients with three integrated services: employment coaching, financial education and coaching, and assistance accessing income supports. This bundling of services helps clients make important behavioral changes about money and improve their financial outlook, while preparing them to succeed in the workplace. The model has been successful in helping clients see real improvements in net income, net worth, and credit scores. Additional SIF funding allowed LISC to then introduce the Bridges to Career Opportunities model, which incorporated contextualized educational services along with career training programs and provided opportunities for those FOC clients who needed to build additional foundational skills to successfully complete higher-level skills training and be more competitive in the job market.

“In addition to job training and education, providing services to help participants navigate legal and technical matters related to child support, fines, court, parole/probation, as well as help with transportation, housing barriers, and substance abuse, will translate into meaningful change for this vulnerable population,” said Cola.

Approximately 2.3% of adults in Rhode Island are on probation or parole, which as of 6/30/17 was 23,081 adults in the state, and there were 2,797 individuals released in 2017 [1]. Of this number, about 5% of sentenced releases self-reported that they were homeless or had no permanent address. The Department of Corrections also reports that of the total prison population, 52% of men and 61% of women were unemployed at the time they were incarcerated.  Additionally, of this 2017 population, 35% of incarcerated men and 25% of incarcerated women had less than a high school education, and 51% of men and 38% of women were re-sentenced within 36 months of release [2].

“We are very grateful to LISC,” said Eileen Hayes, President and CEO of Amos House. “This was a very competitive process and the funding will allow us to focus much more intensively on people entering our training programs and accessing FOC services within 6 months of being released from incarceration.”

Nationwide, there are more than 2.3 million people in prisons, jails and other detention facilities, with 650,000 released each year from prisons alone. Studies on recidivism done by the National Institute of Justice based in Washington D.C. indicate that nearly 77 percent are arrested again within five years.

The award is part of a larger grant from the U.S. Department of Labor which awarded $4.5 million in new funding for LISC Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) nationwide. The grant will extend the reach of LISC FOCs in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and Providence that operate in communities with high rates of poverty, crime and reentry. Amos House is one of only seven organizations across the LISC footprint to receive these funds.

The FOCs are part of a broader LISC effort to expand economic opportunity for low income people. It dovetails with LISC’s community safety work that builds police community partnerships, supports data-driven strategies to take on crime hotspots, and integrates safety into broader programs on economic development, housing and jobs.

People in the News

LISC Rhode Island’s Executive Director Jeanne Cola, who was recently profiled in the Providence Business News, published a ProJo op-ed on the value of supporting childcare as a taxpayer investment.

Deputy Director Cindy Larson received the 2017 Sue Connor Special Friend of Rhode Island’s Children Award from the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC) during the organization’s 51st opening banquet of their Annual Rhode Island Early Childhood Conference. Larson received the award for her lifetime of work as an early childhood advocate.

In presenting the award, Lisa Hildebrand, Executive Director of the RIAEYC, acknowledged Larson’s advocacy and leadership in early learning and child care in Rhode Island, her role as the founding director of LISC’s Rhode Island Child Care & Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF), and her long history of work in education.

“We are presenting this award in recognition of her leadership, commitment, and truly tireless efforts working on behalf of the early child care and education community, as well as the children and families of Rhode Island,” said Hildebrand.

“Cindy led the team that conducted a comprehensive study of child care and early learning facility infrastructure in Rhode Island. She was instrumental in receiving special permission to use Race to The Top dollars toward facility improvement and making funding available to help address critical health and safety issues across Rhode Island’s early childhood centers,” said Hildebrand.

In accepting the award, Larson noted that there is still work to be done despite broad acceptance on the critical importance of the issues around early childhood.

“Thank you all so much, this honor means a great deal to me,” said Larson. “It should be really easy to be an early childhood advocate – all the research suggests that the early years of life are the most critical; we have widespread agreement with the importance of early education; we know that quality child care is essential to building a workforce and having a strong economy.

“Everybody agrees on all these things, and yet every single day we have programs that are struggling just to make ends meet.  So the money is not connecting to what we know, despite our best efforts. We welcome all the new champions and I hope your voices will be loud and strong.  We will continue to advocate strongly with you for the resources that you need to make a difference in the lives of children.”

 

 

 

LISC Highlights: HEZ, Financial Opportunity Centers, Early Learning Work

HEZ Work a Model for Upending Health Inequality

Depending on whether you are born in a prosperous or a poor American neighborhood, your life expectancy can vary by as much as 25 years.  In a blog post for Build Healthy Places, Julia Ryan, LISC’s director of health and safety programs explains how Rhode Island’s Health Equity Zones (HEZ) are working to close the longevity gap.  As lead agency for two of those zones, LISC is helping to tackle the deep-rooted problems underlying that gap with a multi-strategy action plan.

LISC Financial Opportunity Center Success Story Featured on NPR

A recent NPR “Hidden Brain” podcast featured Brandi Drew, a client at a Financial Opportunity Center® in Detroit. In this podcast, Drew describes how financial coaching helped her escape the “scarcity trap.”  View the story here.  A five year, federal grant from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) that was matched by local private and corporate grants, made it possible for Rhode Island LISC to invest over $2.3 million into four Financial Opportunity Centers® located at Amos House, Genesis Center, Providence Housing Authority and Community Care Alliance.  The Social Innovation Fund has not been included in the new federal spending proposal to fund the government through September 30.

 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Report Released

In 2015 and 2016, by providing small grants and technical support, the LISC Rhode Island Child Care and Early Learning Facilities Fund (RICCELFF) enabled 83 early learning centers across Rhode Island to dramatically improve the learning environments in their facilities. The grants, which totaled $2.3 million, were made possible by the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge, a U.S. Department of Education program designed to support high-quality early learning programs as well as increase the number of low-income and disadvantaged children who are enrolled in them. Read the report here.

“2016 By the Numbers” Video

LISC recently released a video highlighting the resources that it invested in Rhode Island in 2016.  LISC provided over 2,000 hours of technical assistance to over 150 groups, awarded over $3.5 million in grants and invested over $21 million in real state statewide.  LISC’s strategies include increasing family income & wealth, stimulating economic development, improving access to quality education and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles.  Watch the video to learn more about their impact!

Valuable Financial Literacy Opportunities in December

Financial Literacy Professional Development Opportunities in December

December brings opportunities for two valuable professional development sessions for financial literacy staff and volunteers.

RI Jump$tart Coalition’s Third Annual Financial Capability Conference will be held on Saturday, December 10 at Rhode Island College.  Distinguished education, government, and industry leaders, including RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner and RI Commissioner of Postsecondary Education Jim Purcell, will take part in the day, full of relevant workshops, interactive exhibits, and informative panel sessions designed to meet the unique Personal Finance educational needs of K-12 student, college students and adult populations. In addition to general-interest topic sessions, there will be free professional development opportunities with new content and activities for conference participants scheduled throughout the day.  Register

Best Practices in Designing and Delivering Financial Education Workshops with Margaret Miley, Strategic Advisor and Founding Executive Director of the Midas Collaborative is sponsored by United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley (Boston) on December 13 in Boston.  With an abundance of “off-the-shelf” financial education curricula available, how can practitioners select and tailor these products to meet the needs of their audience? How can we ensure that the information is targeted, understood, and put to use? This training will help practitioners develop financial education programming using a high-impact ‘learner-centered’ model for adult learners that is timely, relevant and effective.

This training is presented as part of the Midas Collaborative’s Annual Members Meeting, which will take place from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. All training participants are welcome to stay for the meeting.  This will be a great chance to learn more about Midas’s mission, meet members of the Collaborative and participate in a special discussion highlighting what we can do at the local, state and national level to support financial security in the context of a changing political landscape.

For those staying on for the Midas Meeting, lunch will be provided during the break from 1:00 – 1:30 pm.

Register Today!