RI Foundation Awards $280,000 in Grants to Promote a Healthier Rhode Island

The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation is marking a 10-year collaboration with the Rhode Island Foundation by contributing an additional $1.6 million, raising its total contributions to $4.9 million. The contribution came as Harvard Pilgrim joined the Foundation in announcing the latest round of grants – nearly $280,000 for everything from launching an urgent care pediatric psychiatric clinic to training nurses to deliver home health care to the state’s aging population.

“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 D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The Foundation awarded the grants through a fund created in partnership with Harvard Pilgrim in 2010. The goal is to promote the development of an effective primary health care system in the state.

“Philanthropic support can provide the seed funding necessary to take innovative programs like these to the next level,” said Karen Voci, president of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. “I am proud to announce that we are making a final $1.6 million contribution to the Rhode Island Foundation. The contribution caps a long partnership that has generated nearly $2.3 million in grants for health and health care across Rhode Island,” she said.

That new funding will enhance the Foundation’s capacity to invest in projects, programs and organizations that support health and healthcare in Rhode Island. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year as part of the Foundation’s general health-related grant-making.

The latest round of grants are being awarded to the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) in Cranston, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island Center for Justice, Thundermist Health Center and the VNA of Care New England.

GCRI Members Partner on Arts Advocacy Workshop

In the arts community, there are many overlapping policy issues — from the need for affordable housing, investment in arts and afterschool programming as well as the need for financial literacy to create a more stable existence for many artists and those they serve.

United Way of Rhode Island worked with Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, and the City of Providence to train over 40 artists and arts supporters at “Arts Trifecta: Advocacy 101.”

United Way is planning on a continued partnership with the arts and culture funders around advocacy training and intersectional social issues.

Inequities in Charitable Giving Continue to Grow, Fueled by Tax Law

Dave Biemesderfer, CEO of United Philanthropy Forum

Data continues to come in to confirm a disturbing trend in our country: growing inequities in who is giving to charity and who is benefiting from it. This is happening amid a backdrop of an overall decline in charitable giving, fueled by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed by Congress.

The latest data to confirm these trends is from the well-respected 2019 “Giving USA” report released last week. The report shows that giving by foundations, corporations and individuals declined 1.7 percent in 2018, adjusted for inflation. This is the first drop in giving since 2013 and just the 13th decline since 1978, and has occurred despite assurances from Congress that the 2017 tax law would not negatively impact giving and in fact would increase it.

Read Dave’s full blog post

Mission Investors Exchange Offers Briefs for Practitioners

Seeking ways to maximize the social and economic returns of their place-based impact investments, foundations, CDFIs, private investors, and others are turning to collaboration. To support these efforts and facilitate lesson sharing, the Urban Institute and Mission Investors Exchange have produced a set of three practitioner briefs designed to focus on elements of place-based impact investing that have surfaced in research and conversations with practitioners as opportunities for knowledge exchange: building strong ecosystems, mapping opportunities and capacities, and deploying capital on the ground together through impact investing collaborations. Each brief presents the concept, highlights practitioner examples, and elevates lessons from the field.  

Place-Based Impact Investing Ecosystems: Building a Collaboration to Boost Your Effectiveness

Mapping and Assessing Local Capacities and Opportunities for Place-Based Impact Investing

Collaborative Place-Based Impact Investing Models: Deploying Capital on the Ground Together

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Awards $315,000 to 3 RI Organizations

As part of a $1.9 million effort to support age friendly communities in New England, Tufts Health Plan Foundation has awarded $315,000 to three Rhode Island organizations.

Recipients included Rhode Island Parent Information Network for senior wellness programs, Rhode Island Public Health Institute for its “Food on the Move” mobile markets, and Saint Elizabeth Community for its supportive housing program for seniors.

“Each community has its own unique needs. Tufts Health Plan Foundation focuses resources in communities that want to achieve age-friendly practices that are relevant, focus on underrepresented communities and engage older people in the process,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “We are proud to support organizations that are responding to the needs of older people in their communities.”

Blue Cross Makes $10,000 Grant to RI Community Food Bank

Providence Business News — The Rhode Island Community Food Bank received multiple donations from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island as the nonprofit launched its 2019 Summer Food Drive on June 25.

The food bank said it received $10,000 from Blue Cross, which it will use to purchase and distribute food this summer. Additionally, Blue Cross collected more than 6,200 food items – weighing more than 3,600 pounds – during the company’s Summer Snackdown initiative.

Read the full article in Providence Business News

Power Sharing Among Grantees and Funders Materials Available from FCCP

GCRI partner, Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), recently hosted a webinar on Power Sharing as part of their Summer Equity and Power Sharing series.

Slides and a recording of the program are now available. Thanks to FCCP for making this available to the Forum network, and thanks to Lori Villarosa of Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE) for walking funders through how philanthropy can intentionally tackle the realities of racism and connect these threads to present day grantmaking practices, as well as to Jennifer Epps-Addison with The Center for Popular Democracy, Dana Kawaoka-Chen with Justice Funders, Dimple Abichandani with General Service Foundation, and Farhad Ebrahimi with Chorus Foundation for addressing power sharing and grantmaking strategies that can change the who, what, and how of support through integrating a racial equity lens.

A Call for Philanthropy to Help Meet Unprecedented Challenges Facing the 2020 Census

United Philanthropy Forum’s President & CEO David Biemesderfer penned a recent blog, A Call for Philanthropy to Help Meet Unprecedented Challenges Facing the 2020 Census. In it, he amplifies the joint message regarding the need for census funding from philanthropy from the Ford, JPB, Kellogg, and Open Society Foundations, who recently committed $20 million. Biemesderfer writes: “No matter what or where you fund, the issues and communities you support will be impacted negatively if we don’t get the census count right in 2020. I call on everyone involved in philanthropy to help us get it right.”

HarborOne Announces $75,000 in Grants

HarborOne Foundation recently announced $75,000 in grants to organizations in Rhode Island.

Said James Blake, CEO of HarborOne, “The work of these nonprofit organizations contributes greatly to the vibrancy and health of the local community. Investing in organizations that create educational opportunity, improve access to affordable housing and provide basic needs to our most vulnerable citizens aligns with the bank’s core values of service, community and trust.”

For more information, read interview in Providence Business News.

Standing in Sympathy and Solidarity

GCRI is committed to building a safe, equitable community, where all Rhode Islanders can grow and thrive.  There are always challenges to that work, but this week has brought heartwrenching news of political and racial violence and threats across the nation, that require us to renew our commitment to our work and to our community with even greater urgency.
We send our deepest sympathy to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh, which yesterday suffered the worst anti-Semitic violence in our nation’s history.  And we stand with the Jewish community here in Rhode Island, and all those who have been threatened or have been victims of hate and violence.
The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, a member of GCRI, is hosting a Community Prayer and Action Vigil tomorrow — Monday, October 29 at 5:45pm — and we encourage you to attend to join in sympathy and solidarity with our neighbors and friends as they mourn the tragic events in Pittsburgh.  And we continue to stand together in unity against those who would cause harm and sow discord and hate.
Please visit Jewish Alliance’s Facebook page for more information.
GCRI’s sister organization, Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, has an update of the situation on their website, as well as opportunities to support the victims of this tragedy.