Papitto Opportunity Connection Commits $1 Million to Nonprofit Capacity Initiative

The vision shared by local nonprofits and led by United Way of Rhode Island to create a statewide Nonprofit Resource Center has received a major boost in the form of a $1 million commitment from the Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC). The funding will help United Way accelerate the development of the business model of what will be a central, multi-faceted entity aimed at strengthening the state’s nonprofit sector as a whole, and will be spread across four years.

United Way announced plans to establish a nonprofit resource hub in late January and placed a call for applicants to serve on the Design Team that will help guide its creation. The initiative will serve the state’s entire nonprofit ecosystem and work to enhance its capacity while prioritizing the needs and perspectives of BIPOC-led and other small and mid-size nonprofits. Programming may include training, advocacy, visibility, and research to advance organizational resiliency and infrastructure.

United Way also received funding from Rhode Island Commerce Corporation as part of their Network Matching Grant program, which was designed to build support systems for Rhode Island’s small business community.

Point32Health Foundation Awards More Than $1.1 Million to 10 New England Community Organizations

The Point32Health Foundation announced today that 10 community organizations across the region will receive grants totaling more than $1.1 million. Funding will support work to advance policies and practices that address disparities and create more inclusive communities.Building on the legacy of service and giving established by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the Point32Health Foundation will work with communities to support, advocate and advance healthier lives for everyone. These grants advance systems-level change to remove barriers responsible for inequities in New England communities.The Rhode Island beneficiary was Progreso Latino in Central Falls, which received a two-year grant for $150,000.

US Nonprofit Workforce Still 3.7 Percent Below Pre-Pandemic Levels — Johns Hopkins Study

From Philanthropy News Digest 1/14/2022 —

“As of the end of 2021, the U.S. nonprofit workforce is estimated to be down by 459,000 jobs — or 3.7 percent — from pre-pandemic levels, an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies finds.

The sector added an estimated 9,246 jobs in December, regaining just 2 percent of the 468,116 jobs still lost to the COVID-19 pandemic as of November and 0.6 percent of the estimated 1.64 million nonprofit jobs lost during the first three months of the pandemic. The fields that saw the strongest recovery last month were religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations (8 percent of jobs still lost as of November) and social assistance (6.9 percent), followed by education (2.1 percent) and arts, entertainment, and recreation (0.2 percent); health care saw additional job losses of 0.7 percent.

According to the center’s final report tracking the impact of the pandemic on the nonprofit workforce, the remaining lost jobs include 12.5 percent of pre-pandemic workers in nonprofit arts and entertainment organizations; 5.6 percent of those in education; 4 percent of those in religious, grantmaking, and civic associations; and 3.4 percent of those in social service organizations.

Based on average rates of job recovery from January through December 2021, the report estimates that it will take another eleven months for the nonprofit sector’s jobs to return to pre-pandemic levels — 8.8 months for social assistance; 7.1 months for religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations; 6.6 months for arts, entertainment, and recreation; and 5.9 percent for education. Nonprofit healthcare jobs saw so little growth in 2021 that no reliable estimate could be projected.

‘The twin challenges of the unpredictable nature of the on-going pandemic and significant difficulties in hiring now coming to light [make it] difficult to predict what the future holds for the nation’s third largest employer as we enter into 2022,” the report’s authors note. “With nearly a half million of the sector’s pre-pandemic workers still missing from the workforce, nonprofits have a steep hill to climb as they continue their critical work to assist and support the recovery of their communities.'”

Johns Hopkins Release

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.

The Importance of Supporting Nonprofit Sector in Relief Efforts

We are gathering information about the needs of Rhode Island nonprofits in this difficult time.  United Way and Rhode Island Foundation have done an initial short survey, identifying supply needs (mostly food for distribution, sanitation supplies, and technology for remote work), client financial needs (rental assistance, utility assistance, food, unemployment, etc.) and their organizational financial losses resulting from their compliance with public health restrictions.
At the same time that many nonprofits are providing critical services to the most vulnerable in our communities, virtually all of Rhode Island’s nonprofits have lost some or all of the revenue they depend on.  In order to protect public health, they have cancelled fundraising events and arts performances, and are not able to continue programming for which they have fee for service contracts.  In addition, moving forward many of their donors are themselves facing job losses and financial hardships and will not be able to contribute support.
Charitable nonprofits are not currently eligible for Small Business Administration emergency loans so there are currently no resources to help community-based organizations, service providers, and arts organizations survive this crisis and the resulting economic downturn, which John Macintosh of SeaLevel Partners is calling an “extinction level event” for nonprofits.
United Philanthropy Forum, as well as countless other nonprofits, have called for Congress to specifically include the charitable sector in COVID-19 relief legislation.
If members are interested in connecting with members of Congress in Rhode Island or other districts in which you have operations, the Forum, Independent Sector and the National Council of Nonprofits recommend that the relief package:
  • Expressly include charitable nonprofits in the $200 billion loan fund for businesses. The charitable sector needs an immediate infusion of $60 billion and the loan program is a fast way to get cash in the hands of organizations serving immediate needs in communities, yet facing lost and declining revenue due to the pandemic.
  • Clarify that charitable nonprofits of all sizes are able to participate in the emergency Small Business Loan Program by using the tax-law definition of charitable organizations (Sec. 501(c)(3) public charities) and removing the language that excludes nonprofits that are eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Improve the above-the-line charitable deduction by raising the cap to $2,000 and allowing all taxpayers to immediately claim the deduction on their 2019 taxes (due on July 15), and afterwards through 2021.

Nonprofit Leaders Call for Federal Support for Sector

United Philanthropy Forum, the National Council of Nonprofits, and Independent Sector (IS) joined more than 50 nonprofit organizations in calling Congress to pass a $60 billion stimulus package to maintain nonprofit operations, expand scope to address increasing demands, and stabilize losses from closures throughout the country.

In a letter sent to Congress today, organizations asked for a package to specifically include the following policy solutions:

As is done in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), any additional employment-focused relief or stimulus legislation must expressly apply to employment at tax-exempt organizations by making tax credits and deductions applicable not just to income taxes, but to the taxes nonprofits pay, such as payroll taxes. Further, Congress should also ensure that relief and stimulus legislation designed to assist for-profit businesses in the areas of unemployment insurance, employee retention, and risk insurance must also address the unique challenges and realities that nonprofits face.

America’s charitable nonprofits request $60 billion in emergency stimulus funding aimed at helping adversely affected national and local organizations. These funds can be distributed quickly through multiple funding streams, including, but not limited, to expansion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program for nonprofit employers, emergency grants to nonprofits operating under grants from federal, state, local, or other pass-through entities, and other to ensure the continued flow of charitable donations.

To incentivize all Americans to support the vital work of America’s charities, we call on Congress to enact an “above-the-line” or universal charitable deduction for contributions through the end of 2021. Further, to help those who step forward to help America’s charitable organizations immediately assist the most vulnerable, Congress should permit taxpayers to donate today – at the height of the pandemic – and claim the benefit from these deductions on 2019 tax returns.

Every charity in America, regardless of size, that provides paid family and medical leave should receive a tax credit the organization can use. We applaud the HR 6201 approach to provide a payroll tax credit to all employers of a certain size (including charities and other nonprofits) providing emergency paid family leave and sick time pay for care related to the coronavirus. Congress should provide payroll tax credits to all charities, regardless of size, that provide such paid family leave and sick time pay as a result of the coronavirus.

If your organization would like to sign in support of this letter, please email dthompson@councilofnonprofits.org.

Read the full letter here.

Read more about IS’s response and resources from President and CEO Dan Cardinali.

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.

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.

10 Nonprofit Leaders “Boot Up” Innovation with United Way

For ten local nonprofit leaders, boot camp marks the start of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab — a program that begins on January 13, lasts 23-weeks, and ends with a Shark Tank-like presentation in June where the five remaining finalists compete for three prizes, totaling $90,000.

Hosted by United Way of Rhode Island and the Social Enterprise Greenhouse, the Nonprofit Innovation Lab is designed to spark fresh solutions for existing social problems. Participants were chosen from two dozen applicants during an elevator pitch event in December.

“We’re very impressed with the innovation and quality of their proposals, there are some incredible [ideas] coming out of our state’s nonprofit community,” said Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island. “We’re eager to help them hone their ideas to strengthen Rhode Island.”

Nonprofit Innovation Lab components:

  • Boot Camp: For the first 6 weeks, participants receive intensive expert instruction, which includes two, four-hour sessions each week.
  • Milestone Accelerator: During the next 16 weeks, participants work with advisors from the hosting agencies’ networks in preparation for the final event.
  • Innovation Pitch Event: In June, the remaining five participants present their plans, competing for $90,000 in a presentation similar to NBC’S hit television show Shark Tank.

Nonprofit Innovation Lab participants

  • Mario Bueno, Progreso Latino
  • Mike Chea, Dorcas International Institute of R.I.
  • Kate Corwin, Smith Hill CDC
  • Janice Falconer, Impact R.I.
  • Raul Figueroa, Fuerza Laboral
  • Dana Ginestet, College Crusade of R.I.
  • Laura Jaworski, House of Hope CDC
  • Jonathan Kabak, Oliver Hazard Perry R.I.
  • Rhonda Price, Man Up, Inc.
  • Joshua Riazi, Genesis Center

LISC and Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone Builds Climate Resilience

#PCFHEZ Climate Resilience Project

What does race have to do with climate change? Which neighborhoods in the greater Providence area are most at risk from extreme heat and flooding? What can residents and local government do to make sure neighborhoods are safe and resilient to climate change?

Take a guided tour of the findings from Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone‘s climate resilience project to make Rhode Island communities safer from extreme heat and flooding.