The first grants from the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation have been awarded to six nonprofit organizations to support primary and secondary prevention models and high-quality, affordable behavioral health care services across the state.
“Helping Rhode Islanders lead healthier lives is one of our priorities. These grants will address behavioral health needs before people are in crisis. This work will lead to better outcomes across the board while targeting communities that are disproportionately impacted by behavioral health issues,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
The Fund was created in August 2018 by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner with a commitment of $5 million in funding from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI). Current grants totaled $2.6 million over three years.
“The organizations and projects we are funding today are truly impressive,” said Kim Keck, president and CEO of BCBSRI. “With innovative approaches and use of emerging best practices, we are confident they can achieve long-term, sustainable outcomes. I look forward to seeing great progress in the next few years and thank all of the organizations for helping us to realize our vision to passionately lead a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island.”
“As Governor, expanding access to mental health treatment and support is one of my top priorities, and I’m excited to award the first round of Behavioral Health Fund grantees,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “As part of my administration’s effort to ensure that our state’s insurers are meeting Rhode Island’s mental and behavioral health care needs, last year OHIC conducted a market conduct exam that resulted in a financial settlement with Blue Cross Blue Shield Rhode Island. The Behavioral Health Fund was born out of that settlement.”
Harbor One Foundation Rhode Island announced that nine nonprofit organizations in the Greater Providence have received a combined $32,500 in financial support for their work helping children and families. The foundation focuses its support on organizations that provide educational opportunities, create access to “safe and affordable” housing, and “deliver basic human services to our most vulnerable citizens.”
“It is an honor to be able to help organizations that make such an amazing impact in our community and positively affect so many lives,” said HarborOne Foundation Rhode Island President William White in a statement.
James Blake, CEO of HarborOne Bank, noted that the bank has been “warmly welcomed” into the Rhode Island community and that the foundation is “one way that we can help that community and the people and organizations in it to thrive.”
The grants each organization received ranged from $1,000 to $5,000. The organizations that received grant funding from the foundation are NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, Olneyville Housing Corp./One Neighborhood Builders, Sojourner House Inc, West Elmwood Housing Development Corp., Pawtucket School Department, The Miriam Hospital Foundation, Adoption Rhode Island, Young Voices and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rhode Island.
As a benefit of membership, GCRI members are eligible to receive legal support through United Philanthropy Forum at a reduced cost.
The Forum launched the Foundation Legal Help Desk a year ago for community foundations, and now that the pilot phase has concluded, the program is being expanded to serve private foundations as well. The Help Desk is operated by our colleagues at the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance.
The Help Desk is designed to provide foundations with access to answers to legal questions related to the operations of a foundation. The foundation world is a complex field that requires specialized legal knowledge and many foundations do not have easy access to an attorney with expertise in this field.
How Does it Work?
The service operates through a website. Participants log in with a username and password and type in their question. The software will send it to the attorney “on-call” for their topic area. The attorney will respond either with a written answer or will make arrangements for a phone conversation.
The attorneys providing this service have specialized knowledge in grantmaking, scholarships, fund management, planned giving, nonprofit law, the Pension Protection Act, UPMIFA and other laws that specifically affect the operations of a foundation.
- This service is designed to provide quick answers to questions and is limited to a maximum of one hour on any one question. The attorney will be able to advise the foundation if they need to engage counsel to assist them with a complex legal issue or gift.
- The attorney will engage directly with foundation staff or board members, and will not work directly with donors or professional advisors.
- The attorney can review documents but will not prepare any documents.
- This service is for legal questions that relate to the operation of a foundation, not legal issues facing a foundation’s grantees.
Foundations will contact IPA directly to subscribe to the service, and IPA will provide them with a subscription agreement. Once they send the agreement back to IPA with their payment, IPA will provide them with their login credentials. IPA will let you know when any of your members sign up for the service, and will provide each PSO with an annual report on usage by your members and the topic areas of questions handled.
Service Levels and Costs
Exponent Philanthropy is an association of small grantmakers and the only one dedicated to serving foundations with few or no staff, philanthropic families, and individual donors. With nearly 2,000 members, their vibrant network has in common lean operations and a style of philanthropy motivated by personal passion, community needs, and the strong desire for better outcomes. Exponent provides programs, resources, and connections that maximize philanthropy’s impact on diverse communities and causes. Learn more
GCRI members can receive $100 off the first year of membership in Exponent Philanthropy. The discount code is REGIONAL100.