Women’s Fund of RI Offers Workshops, New Grants

Women’s Fund of RI Offers Workshops, New Grants

The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island will be offering a full slate of programs in the coming months:

  • Feminism is a Male Issue (February 28)
  • Gender Equity in the Workplace (March 28)
  • Women Leading Change Celebration (April 26)
  • What’s In A Name? Media, Language & Representation (May 24)

More information

The Women’s Fund’s 2018 Grant Cycle has also been announced, with $50.000 in grants available for nonprofit initiatives that use a “gender lens” to focus on the unique needs of women and girls in Rhode Island and provide gender specific solutions to societal problems.  More information

Rhode Island Foundation Impact Investing Initiative, Entrepreneurial Innovation Fellowship

Rhode Island Foundation Impact Investing Initiative, Entrepreneurial Innovation Fellowship

Impact Investing

The Rhode Island Foundation has embarked on an impact investing initiative to invest 5% of the endowment in ventures that have measurable social impact as well as financial return.  Projects will be local and place-based, and will yield a direct impact for Rhode Island, primarily in strategic initiative areas: educational successhealthy lives, and economic security.  

The Providence Journal recently highlighted the ways that the Foundation’s initiative:  Learn more in the Journal.

Entrepreneurial Innovation

The Rhode Island Foundation is also seeking applications for the Carter Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Innovation, made possible through the vision and generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, designed to stimulate solutions to Rhode Island challenges.  Fellows will receive up to $200,000 over four years to test and implement innovative ideas that could dramatically improve an area of life in Rhode Island. Up to three Fellows are selected annually.

More information


CVS Launches Youth Grant Program

GCRI Member CVS Health joined with WPRI and the Pawtucket Red Sox for the third year of Community Heroes, a program that provides $55,000 in grants to Rhode Island nonprofits. Since all three organizations are committed to helping youth lead tobacco-free lives, this year’s program encouraged youth to create a Public Service Announcement video campaign on what it means for them to be the first tobacco free generation.

Ten PSAs were selected and each organization will receive a $5,000 Community Heroes grant.

In the second phase of the program, which goes until August 23, the public is invited to vote on their favorite video.  The winner will receive an additional $5,000 grant, and will be featured on the Rhode Show and at a Pawtucket Red Sox Game.  View and vote

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.

Grants Administration: Make Your Grant Application Process More Nonprofit-Friendly

Vu Le is a popular blogger and nonprofit leader, and his “Foundations, How Aggravating Is Your Grantmaking Process” checklist is a good start for funders looking to evaluate the user friendliness of their funding request processes.  While some of the items are humorous, many point to important factors in determining whether nonprofits are able to complete your process in a positive way.  (He also has a reverse checklist for grantseekers’ ability to aggravate funders!)

Rhode Island Foundation Announces Impact Investing and Healthcare Initiatives

Healthcare Access and Affordability

Five organizations – Rhode Island Free Clinic, Clinica Esperanza, Crossroads Rhode Island, South County Hospital Health Care, and Thundermist Health Center – are receiving more than $270,000 through the RIGHA Foundation Fund to make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for Rhode Islanders.

“Developing an inclusive primary care system that promotes healthy lives is one of our core strategic initiatives. These grants will advance our continuing efforts to make quality health care more accessible and affordable,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

Impact Investing

Rhode Island Foundation announced a new mission-related investing initiative to support projects that are local and place-based, and will yield a direct impact for Rhode Island, primarily in the Foundation’s strategic initiative areas: educational success, healthy lives, and economic security.  Initial efforts will focus on a loan fund in 2017. In the first year, loans will range between $200,000 and $1,000,000, with terms generally up to 10 years.  To learn more about the Foundation’s Impact Investing strategy, join GCRI for an informative session at the Foundation on May 25 (see events calendar for more details).

Women’s Fund of RI New Grant Cycle and “Womenomics” Event, GoLocal Feature

WFRI New Grant Cycle

The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) has announced its 2017 grant cycle, which will award grants totaling $50,000, made possible by the generosity of donors.  Since launching its grant program in 2001, the WFRI has awarded more than $600,000 to organizations developing innovative programs that seek to promote gender equity and improve the lives of women and girls in RI.

The focus of this year’s funding will be the findings in the Status of Working Women in Rhode Island report released earlier this year in collaboration with the Economic Progress Institute.  To learn more about WFRI’s funding focus, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, refer to the Guidelines for a Grant Application and Grant Application.  Applications will be accepted from now through June 15, 2017.  Grant awards will be announced on October 11, 2017.

Womenomics:  Women Leading Change

On June 7, WFRI will be hosting a “Womenomics:  Women Leading Change” Celebration at the RISD Museum, 5:30-8:30pm, featuring a keynote presentation by Jackie VanderBrug of U.S. Trust, on why investing in and through women makes great economic sense.  WFRI will also be honoring Susan Rittscher, CEO of the Center for Women & Enterprise with the Women’s Fund Leadership Award.  Register

Nevins Featured on GoLocal Providence Live on Gender Equality in Politics

Kelly Nevins, the Executive Director of Women’s Fund of RI, was featured in a GoLocal Providence Live segment on how gender equality in Rhode island could re-shape politics in the state.  “We know that when we have more women in leadership, that things get better for women in general. So helping women to run  for office is something we’ll be looking at,” Nevins says.

Nevins says besides public office, they hope to help women establish more presence in corporate board rooms.  Nevins says WFRI is focused on working with partners to pass laws that will provide earned sick time for all private sector employees. They are also working to continue access to insurance and reproductive health care services.

Listen for Good Initiative 2017 Grant Program Announced

The Fund for Shared Insight (FFSI) is a collaborative effort among funders that pools financial and other resources to make grants to improve philanthropy. FFSI emerged from the belief that foundations will be more effective and make an even bigger difference in the world if they are more open – if they share what they are learning and are open to what others want to share with them, including grantees and the people they seek to help.

The Fund for Shared Insight has several opportunities for your members to be involved in their Listen for Good initiative.  Listen for Good (L4G) is an initiative dedicated to building the practice of listening to the people funders seek to help. They invite nonprofits and funders to join in exploring a simple but systematic and rigorous way of getting feedback from the people at the heart of their work. Listen for Good is focused on applying a semi-standard survey instrument, which includes using the Net Promoter SystemSM (NPS®) employed widely in customer feedback circles, to the nonprofit beneficiary context. Organizations implementing L4G are all customer-facing nonprofits.

In 2016, FFSI made 46 L4G grants supported by 28 nominating co-funders. 2017 grantees of L4G will receive $45,000 over two years ($30,000 from Fund for Shared Insight and $15,000 from a nominating co-funder), as well as access to technical assistance to guide their implementation efforts.


FFSI is holding a series of open conference calls on April 7 and April to answer questions from potential co-funders about how to nominate a grantee(s) for Listen for Good. FFSI created a page about Listen for Good called “Information for Funders” with details on Listen for Good and how to nominated grantees.

Rhode Island Foundation Launches Giving Circles Initiative

Rhode Island Foundation Launches Giving Circles Initiative

Rhode Island Foundation has created a new Giving Circle Initiative, offering up to $5,000 in matching donations to encourage Rhode Islanders to come together to support their favorite causes.

Giving circles are groups of people who pool their donations and decide together how to distribute them. They typically have a shared interest or connection, but it is not required. The groups select their own members, goals, and giving levels. Giving circles may choose to focus on a specific cause, geographic location, or community, but cannot formed solely to benefit a specific nonprofit organization.

The Foundation’s initiative will award matching donations for up to six groups.  The initiative is meant to inspire philanthropy throughout the community and to provide an opportunity for groups of people that might not otherwise come together around a fundraising effort. Our goal is to build a culture of philanthropy in Rhode Island by increasing giving activity and engagement.  In addition to the matching grants, recipients will receive a communications and fundraising tool-kit, staff support and meeting space.  More information

Rhode Island Foundation Awards Grants To Spark Learning

Rhode Island Foundation Awards Grants to Spark Learning

Dozens of teachers in communities across Rhode Island will receive nearly $190,000 through the Spark Grants program at the Rhode Island Foundation.  Launched by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter in 2013, the program offered school-wide reading grants of up to $10,000 for the first time this year. Elementary schools in seven communities will receive grants for proposals that will inspire a life-long love of reading in students.

The program also continued to offer full-time third-grade teachers in any public or charter school statewide grants of up to $1,000 for classroom innovation. Sixty teachers statewide received grants this year.

“We still strongly believe that third grade is a critical stage in the educational development of youngsters,” said Letitia Carter. “The new reading grants are grounded in the belief that imaginative reading and assimilation of context can make learning fun and exciting. Expanding the program’s scope will put more children on the path to educational success.”

Eligible expenses include software licenses, equipment and other resources that otherwise would not be available to teachers. Spark Grants are for one-time expenses and cannot provide ongoing funding to sustain projects.

“As always, Letitia and John Carter are leading innovation by example. Our hope is that their foresight and commitment inspires new creativity and engagement in teachers and their students,” said Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.

For more Information