RI COVID-19 Fund Awards $2.4 Million to Nonprofits Providing Services and Basic Needs

Dozens of nonprofits on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis are getting $2.4 million in grants from a special fund created by the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island, which has now awarded $3.6 million in grants, including the first round of grants made March 27.

Among the organizations receiving funding from the COVID-19 Response Fund are the Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center, Clinica Esperanza, the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, the East Bay Community Action Program, Newport Mental Health and the Northern RI Food Pantry.

“As our state prepares for a coming surge in this crisis, these grants have the potential to save lives,” said United Way of Rhode Island President and CEO Cortney Nicolato. “I am grateful for every donor for their support, and equally thankful for the resilient nonprofit employees who step up every single day to take care of our families and neighbors.”

The grants ranged from $10,000 to $75,000. Many will help local nonprofits provide food, housing and health care to Rhode Islanders affected by the crisis. Additionally, funding was awarded for medical supplies as care providers face unprecedented challenges to maintain operations and deliver services to those most in need.

“There isn’t anyone in our community who hasn’t been touched by this crisis, and nonprofits are the boots on the ground for all of us. Seeing donors and service providers rise to this unprecedented and growing challenge is inspiring,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.

Full list of grantees

Application Information

The Foundation and United Way established the COVID-19 Response Fund on March 17 and have combined to raise $5.8 million in contributions.

LISC Joins with Verizon to Support Businesses with COVID-19 Recovery Fund

Understanding the toll of small businesses closing their doors to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Verizon will donate $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit that has invested $20 billion to fuel economic opportunity for people and communities across America. Over the course of the series, all viewers who tune in will be encouraged to tag their favorite local businesses and make a purchase in advance for when the crisis is over and the businesses reopen. As consumers engage, Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million in funds, bringing the total donation to a potential $5 million.

LISC will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19, especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital in historically underserved communities. LISC will launch an online process for small businesses to submit applications for grants (sign up here to stay updated on the process). Applications will be reviewed and then entered into a lottery. The grants are designed to help business owners fill urgent financial gaps – from paying rent to meeting payroll – until they can resume normal operations or other financing becomes available.  Updates

 

Citizens Announces $5 Million Commitment to Communities Impacted by COVID-19

Citizens Bank announced a $5 million commitment to support communities and businesses dealing with impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. These resources will back both a number of broad-based community support initiatives across the Citizens service area as well as specialized programs focused on providing aid to small businesses and their workforces.

“Responding to the needs of the communities we serve is at the heart of the Citizens Credo and we stand ready to help our neighbors during this unprecedented time,” said Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Citizens Financial Group. “Through this initiative we will focus on addressing immediate community needs, while providing aid to small businesses so they can get back on their feet more quickly.”

The bank’s COVID-19 support effort will have two components:

  • A Community Support Relief program that will provide charitable contributions to community partners to assist with wider relief efforts. One example of this is charitable contributions to be committed to broad-based relief funds in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, with others to be determined. Longer term, the company plans to work with community partners to identify solutions to address changing needs.
  • A Small Business Relief and Recovery program that will provide charitable contributions and other assistance aimed at helping small businesses restore full operations, rehire and recover in the months to come.

In addition to the resources for small business relief announced today, Citizens will implement several initiatives that will enable customers and colleagues to lend their support. These include enabling users of the bank’s cash-back credit cards to designate all or part of their cash rewards to the relief and recovery fund. Further, Citizens will create a mechanism through which customers, colleagues and others can donate to support the effort.

In addition to providing new funding, Citizens removed programmatic restrictions on 2020 funding to non-profit partners to allow support to be diverted to the areas of greatest need.

Van Saun added: “While the short term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will present unique challenges for all of us, it is important that banks step up and play a critical role in helping provide economic stability to our communities. Citizens looks forward to continuing to support our community partners and customers throughout this difficult time.”

CharterCARE Foundation COVID-19 Fund Supports Local Nonprofits

The Chartercare Foundation’s COVID19 Response Fund has acted quickly to address needs of nonprofits in RI. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly $100,000 to the following agencies:

· Meals on Wheels to address increasing food insecurities among elderly and shut-ins;

· Thundermist Health for a call center and outdoor triage unit serving 52,000 patients in 3 locations;

· Meeting Street School for stabilization for vulnerable families in the early intervention program through tele-health initiatives;

· RI Free Clinic for triage response for uninsured adults thru teleservice infrastructure;

· Comprehensive Community Action for a telehealth initiative at 4 sites

· Women’s Resource Center of Newport for remote clinical mental health support for victims of domestic violence.

In addition, the Foundation has partnered with Family Service of RI in broadening the scope of distribution of Be Safe Kits to disadvantaged families throughout Rhode Island.

The Foundation will continue to monitor community needs and may open a second round of funding. For details on this and other grant opportunities, please visit www.chartercarefoundation.org.

Champlin Foundation Gift Enables Rhode Island Nonprofit Hospitals to Increase COVID-19 Tests

The Champlin Foundation announced today a $1.6+ million, four-pronged philanthropic approach to support Rhode Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The commitment includes $600,000 that will allow four non-profit hospitals to acquire testing and diagnostic machines to dramatically increase the number of COVID-19 tests that can be taken and completed each day.

“No one has seen anything the likes of this public health crisis and the economic repercussions. While it’s created a good deal of uncertainty, it has also brought the community together even as we keep our social distance. The Champlin Foundation is taking unprecedented steps to support Rhode Island’s public health response and core members of our state’s nonprofit community,” said Champlin Foundation Executive Director Nina Stack. “The Foundation is making a $1.6 million commitment of new money and offering flexibility to ease restrictions on certain existing grants. Our grants are helping the state’s nonprofit hospital systems acquire the necessary testing equipment to increase COVID testing capacity as well as providing front-line and earned revenue-based nonprofits with capital liquidity during trying and uncertain economic times. Widespread events like this require a full community response and we’re proud to stand up with Rhode Islanders in every part of the state to do all we can to assist in this health and economic crisis.”

With Champlin’s support, Lifespan, Care New England and South County Health will be able to substantially increase the number of COVID-19 tests conducted each day, with the deployment of five new testing machines.  The support also allows Landmark Health in Woonsocket and Westerly Hospital to expand their laboratory equipment to more effectively determine non COVID-19 respiratory illnesses.  With faster testing and results it allows more efficient use of available resources.

“These are unpredictable times for everyone and especially for those on the frontline preparing for the inevitable surge of infected patients,” said Timothy J. Babineau, MD, President and CEO of Lifespan. “We’re all in this together, and the incredible generosity of The Champlin Foundation to equip Rhode Island Hospital with COVID-19 testing machines underscores their long history of support of our state’s vital health care system. Because of the foundation, we will soon have the ability to test three times as many patients in a single day. This gift will literally save lives in the days and weeks to come.”

“These machines are of vital importance in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the grant that The Champlin Foundation has stepped up to provide, Care New England will soon be able to more quickly turn around in-house testing, and for more patients right when it’s needed,” said James Fanale, MD, President and CEO of Care New England.

 The $600,000 gift to the state’s nonprofit hospitals is one part of a four-pronged, $1.6 million response that Champlin’s Distribution Committee approved this week. The other components include:

  • $1M Emergency Capital Liquidity Fund: Working with its longtime grantees, Champlin will conduct an RFP process to award grants to eligible agencies or organizations. Priority will be given to organizations that are directly responding to the COVID-19 crisis and those organizations that have experienced a substantial loss of earned revenue (i.e. childcare tuition, program fees, ticket sales, etc.). The RFP details are currently being drafted and will be distributed to eligible grantees in the coming weeks.
  • Easing of Restrictions on Open Grants: The fastest and simplest way Champlin can help existing grantees who have had to ramp up in service delivery or have been cut off from earned revenue is to release restrictions on their existing open grants. On a case-by-case basis, organizations will be considered for flexibility to repurpose capital funds awarded through Champlin’s past grant allocations. This flexibility could potentially free up millions of dollars of revenue for nonprofits and agencies across the state.
  • Extended Deadline for 2020 Capital Grant Applications: Earlier this year, The Champlin Foundation introduced an easy-to-use online grant application portal. The Foundation began accepting applications on March 1, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Foundation has decided to extend the application deadline from April 30, 2020 to May 31, 2020. This extended deadline will allow agencies and organizations to better assess their needs and priorities that may have been impacted by COVID-19.

The Foundation’s first ever grant was $50 to Rhode Island Hospital in 1933 to purchase eyeglasses for Rhode Islanders in need. Since then, The Champlin Foundation has awarded nearly $600 million to fund capital projects for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. These investments have fostered better medical care, improved education, expanded access to social services, conservation of open spaces, preservation of historic buildings, enrichment of the arts, advancement of animal welfare and more. Over the years, the Foundation has proactively responded to catastrophic events and crisis situations, including Rhode Island’s credit union collapse, the Station Nightclub Fire, and the fallout from the Great Recession.

RI COVID-19 Response Fund Awards $1.2 Million to Local Nonprofits

United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Foundation have announced the first round of funding for local nonprofit agencies at the forefront of COVID-19 response.

$1.2 million in grants will be distributed to 27 local agencies in the coming days.

Grantees will use the funding to provide direct service to Rhode Islanders impacted by COVID-19. Funds will go toward food, personal care products, and assistance with household expenses. Additionally, funding was awarded to health centers, community centers, and shelters as they face unprecedented challenges to maintaining operations and delivering services to those most in need.

Read the full list of grantees.

A joint grants review committee — composed of team members from United Way and the Foundation — are working together to review applications and make funding decisions in real-time.

“We are hearing from the nonprofit community every day about the disruption to services caused by this pandemic. Being able to quickly support them, and Rhode Islanders with their most basic needs, has the ability to not only provide comfort but also to save lives,” said United Way of Rhode Island president and CEO Cortney Nicolato.

“As this health crisis will continue for some time, I am grateful for every donor who has stepped up so far, for the donations to come, and to every nonprofit employee who continues to show up, every day, to take care of our families and neighbors.”

Together, United Way of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund on March 17 and have raised more than $5.2 million in contributions.

“Throughout the entire state, nonprofit organizations are stepping up to assist neighbors in need during this unprecedented and uncertain time. It’s truly heartening to see the response,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.

“We’re committed to getting this funding to where it is needed the most. Thanks to our generous donors, these grants will provide a safety net to support many Rhode Islanders. We also welcome more donations to the fund, so that we are able to continue meeting community need.”

Gifts to the fund can be made in any amount. Donations will be accepted as long as the need continues.


 

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Commits $1 Million to Address COVID-19

Tufts Health Plan Foundation is making an additional $1 million available to efforts driven by community and to nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation will continue to support healthy aging by funding organizations assisting with access to food, at-home support, housing, transportation, medical supplies and other services, especially for older people and those most vulnerable.  Those with underlying health conditions and people over 60 have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is especially important to ensure resources are available to provide these supports and services.

The Foundation announced that $125,000 will be given to Rhode Island efforts including Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, and the RI COVID-19 Response Fund (Rhode Island Foundation/United Way of Rhode Island). 

“We are grateful to the local, state and federal public health agencies, first responders, and the many community organizations who are stepping up to respond to this challenge,” said Tom Croswell, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “We hope this funding will provide local organizations flexibility in their operations to respond to pressing and emerging needs in the communities they support.”

Tufts Health Plan Foundation also will provide current grantees the flexibility to adjust their budgets to support new work related to COVID-19. In addition, donations made by Tufts Health Plan employees to nonprofit organizations responding to COVID-19 are eligible for a two-for-one match, effectively tripling their donations. This double match will allow employees to give to where they see the biggest needs in their communities.

“We’re grateful to our board for their swift action,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president for corporate citizenship at Tufts Health Plan.  “It’s our responsibility to listen to community, to be nimble, relevant and responsive.”

GCRI Members Spearhead RI COVID-19 Relief Fund

Thanks to the generosity of many GCRI members and other donors, United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Foundation have activated the Rhode Island COVID-19 Relief Fund to support local nonprofits with direct service programs impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  The two organizations are jointly managing the grantmaking process and will work together to rapidly deploy funds.  Over $4 million has been raised so far, but the need far outstrips the resources, so additional support is greatly appreciated.  Interested donors can contact Brooke Havens at United Way, brooke.havens@uwri.org or Jenny Pereira at Rhode Island Foundation, jpereira@rifoundation.org.

The application portal is now live for nonprofit organizations to apply for support.  Please share the application link with your community partners and grantees at COVID-19 Response Fund Grant;  or Spanish COVID-19 Response Fund application.  The plan is to begin distributing funds by 3/27.  Individuals are not eligible to receive grants through the Fund.

Thank you to Rhode Island Foundation, United Way and CVS Health Foundation for their lead gifts, as well as many GCRI members, including Amica, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Centreville Bank, Hasbro, Textron Charitable Trust, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, and van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

Rhode Island Foundation Supported Over 2,000 Nonprofits with Over $50 Million in Grants in 2019

The Rhode Island Foundation awarded a record $56 million in grants to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations last year.

“We are grateful for the passionate and committed donors who have worked with us for more than a century to tackle the challenges and issues of the day,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “Partnering with nonprofit organizations to support their crucial work in the community, engaging generous donors and providing leadership around key issues for our state all played a role in our outstanding growth as we rise to meet the needs of all Rhode Islanders.”

Of the $56 million in grants awarded last year, 72 percent were donor-directed awards and 28 percent were Foundation-directed. Many of the grants aligned with the Foundation’s three strategic priorities: educational success, healthy lives and economic security. Through these, the Foundation invests in organizations and programs that strive for long-term solutions to significant community issues.

“Working with committed nonprofit partners, our support helps to move every Rhode Island student closer to achieving educational success, encourages all Rhode Islanders to lead healthier lives and puts economic security within reach of even more of our state’s residents,” said Steinberg.

The Foundation also made grants to nonprofits doing critical work in a wide variety of sectors, such as arts and culture, basic human needs, the environment and housing.

In addition to grant-making and fundraising, community leadership is central to the Foundation’s work.

In 2019, the Foundation raised a record $620,000 for its Civic Leadership Fund (CLF). The annual fund enables the Foundation to go beyond traditional grant-making to meet emerging opportunities and challenges, and engage Rhode Islanders in civic and civil dialogue.

Last year, the CLF supported Foundation-led initiatives such as the creation of 10-year strategic plans to improve health and public education in Rhode Island.

AFP-RI Releases Report on Diversity of Leadership at Largest RI Nonprofits

Data Released on Diversity of Leadership at Largest RI Nonprofits

The Association of Fundraising Professionals – Rhode Island Chapter (AFP-RI), through its IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access) Committee, recently completed a study that looked at the gender and racial diversity of the leaders of Rhode Island’s largest nonprofit organizations by net worth. Rhode Island has 4,140 registered 501(c)3 public charities which together hold assets of $31.7 billion.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The largest 150 nonprofits in Rhode Island had total revenue of $11,515,924,424 in 2017;
  • Revenues of these organizations ranged from $5,389,143 to $1,369,753,828;
  • 876 women served on the boards of these organizations, representing 38% of all board members;
  • 43% of the CEO roles were held by women;
  • People of color made up 10% of all board members, despite representing 30% of Rhode Island’s general population; and
  • Only 3% of the CEO roles were held by people of color, less than the national average of 10%. 

“This report provides a baseline for nonprofits to consider what can be done to diversify the leadership of their organizations. From a fundraising perspective, diversity is critical to increasing dollars raised and expanding donor networks,” said Amy Gravell, President of AFP-RI and Managing Director for The Gamm Theatre.

Kelly Nevins, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and Chair of the IDEA Committee of AFP-RI which worked on this report, added “The organizations in this report impact a broad and diverse swath of our community; ideally, their organizational leaders should also reflect of the communities they serve.”

The report includes several recommendations for improvement, including:

  • Consider life experiences and transferable skills that can be used in place of certain prerequisites to give individuals more access to organizational leadership pipelines;
  • Move beyond the personal networks of current organizational leaders by engaging outside organizations, consultants and stakeholders in sourcing future board members;
  • Recommend women and people of color to serve on boards or be considered for an open CEO role;
  • Use term limits to ensure fresh and new perspectives; and
  • Provide training and support in fundraising and development, using best practices for both board members and staff in the leadership pipeline.

Annual revenue was the primary criterion for inclusion in the list of the 2019 Census of Nonprofit Directors and Chief Executives in Rhode Island’s Largest Organizations. Information on board members and chief executives was obtained from the organization’s websites, the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s corporation database or other publicly available sources. Where possible, this information was verified by someone on staff or board at the specific organization.

To download the report, please click here.