Tufts Health Plan Employees Designate $25,000 to Local Nonprofits

Community organizations aiding veterans, single mothers with low incomes, LGBTQ+ Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness, immigrants and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities will each receive a $5,000 grant as a result of a program engaging Tufts Health Plan employees in grantmaking.

“This grant program is an opportunity for our business resource groups to recommend nonprofit organizations addressing important community issues,” said Tufts Health Plan president and CEO Tom Croswell, who also serves on the Tufts Health Plan Foundation board of directors. “Giving back isn’t just something we do; it’s part of our culture. I’m incredibly proud of the dedicated employees who demonstrate their commitment to the community through this program and each and every day.”

Each of Tufts Health Plan’s five business resource groups (BRGs) nominated an organization aligned with their affinity to receive a grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.  Two Rhode Island organizations were beneficiaries of the grants, Crossroads Rhode Island and Operation Stand Down Rhode Island.

·        Prism, the LGBTQ and allies BRG, recommended Crossroads Rhode Island, an organization that provides services and supports to LGBTQ residents of Rhode Island. The grant will support Crossroads’ programming that assists LGBTQ individuals with shelter, food and other services. (Providence, R.I.)

·        Veterans & Military, the veterans and allies BRG, recommended Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, an organization that connects military veterans with services, supports and job opportunities. The grant will support the annual Stand Down Weekend outreach event, where hundreds of veterans are connected to services and supports from agencies across Rhode Island. (Johnston, R.I.)

More information

Citizens Celebrates Anniversary and Community Engagement

Citizens Bank is celebrating the five-year anniversary of becoming a public company this month by reflecting on the many ways it has been able to help Rhode Island communities reach their potential.

The Bank shared the following ways they have helped their communities grow over the past five years:

  • Employees have volunteered more than half a million hours to community organizations.
  • The Bank has invested roughly $70 million in programs to benefit local neighborhoods.
  • Employees have served annually on more than 700 boards or committees.
  • The Bank has invested over $3 billion in affordable housing and other projects to benefit communities.
  • Employees and partners have reached more than one million people with financial literacy programs.
  • The Bank has provided more than 27 million meals to our hungry neighbors in partnership with local food banks and pantries.

Congratulations to Citizens for this anniversary and their continued community engagement!

RIDOH Announces New Health Equity Zones

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced that expanded support and funding to three new communities to establish Health Equity Zones. East Providence, Cranston, and Providence’s West End neighborhood were chosen through a competitive process that drew nearly 20 applicants from communities across the State. These new communities will share approximately $1.4 million in funding with seven existing Health Equity Zones receiving support to continue their work in local communities.

RIDOH’s Health Equity Zone initiative is an innovative, place-based approach that brings people together to build healthy, resilient communities across Rhode Island. The initiative is grounded in research that shows up to 80% of health outcomes are determined by factors outside clinical settings, such as access to affordable, healthy foods; high-quality education; employment opportunities; and safe neighborhoods. The model encourages and equips community members and partners to collaborate to address factors like these and create healthy places for people to live, learn, work, and play.

“We are thrilled to expand our Health Equity Zones initiative to additional Rhode Island communities,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “With plans for strong mentorship from existing Health Equity Zones, these communities are taking the forces that shape their health and well-being into their own hands. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish over the next few years as we continue to lift up this initiative as a national model of how such an infrastructure led by community members can create the conditions needed for every person to thrive.”

Each successful application was submitted by a municipal or nonprofit, community-based organization that will serve as the “backbone agency” for the local Health Equity Zone. These agencies, which include East Bay Community Action Program, Comprehensive Community Action Plan, and West Elmwood Housing Corporation, will facilitate a community-led process to organize a collaborative of community partners, conduct a needs assessment, and implement a data-driven plan of action to address the obstacles to health and well-being in local neighborhoods. RIDOH will provide seed funding and support to ensure that communities ground their work in public health principles and best practices, so that measurable outcomes are reached and evaluated.

 

 

Rhode Island Foundation Awards $285,000 to Newport County Nonprofits

The Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund (NCF} offered grants of up $10,000 to 40 organizations in Newport County to develop new programs, to strengthen or expand established programs and for municipal planning or leadership. In making the funding decisions, the Foundation worked with an advisory committee comprised of residents from every community in Newport County. In total, $285,000 in grants were awarded.

“From protecting the environment to underwriting health and job readiness programs, we are fortunate to partner with organizations that are improving lives here in Newport County,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We are thankful for the donors who make these partnerships possible.”

Awardees included Child & Family, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community CenterNewport Mental HealthAquidneck Community TableBaby StepsBooks are Wings, Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport CountyClean Ocean AccessDay One in Middletown, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New EnglandGod’s Community Garden, Island Moving Company, Jamestown Arts Center, Katie Brown Educational Program, Little Compton Community Center, Little Compton Historical SocietyMeals on WheelsMENTOR Rhode IslandNewport Community School, Newport County YMCA, Newport Gulls, the Newport Music Festival, the Newport Partnership for Families, Newport Working CitiesRhode Island Black Storytellers, Salvation ArmySave The Bay, the Seamen’s Church InstituteSpecial Olympics Rhode Island, the Star Kids Scholarship Program, Turning Around MinistriesVisiting Nurse Home & Hospice, and Women’s Resource Center 

 

 

 

RI Foundation and Blue Cross Award $2.6 Million for Behavioral Health Care

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.”

Nine Nonprofits Receive Grants from HarborOne Foundation Rhode Island

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.

Hurricane Dorian Resources

As we have continued to watch the devastation from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, and the potential for significant damage in the Carolinas, I wanted to pass along some more philanthropic resources related to the Hurricane.

WEBINARS

Our partners are offering two upcoming webinars for funders wanting to learn more about the how they can help:

Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s webinar “Hurricane Dorian: Supporting the Bahamas”
Monday, September 9, noon
Join this webinar to learn about current challenges, effective philanthropic approaches and how best to support the unique needs of small islands in recovery.
Register

US Chamber of Commerce’s Hurricane Dorian coordination webinar
Monday, September 9, 2:00pm
Join this webinar to hear from partners who are actively responding. Learn what the immediate needs are in the areas, as well as the long-term outlook on recovery.
Register

FUNDING EFFORTS

  • Miami Foundation has a Hurricane Dorian relief page with a number of relief and recovery resources.
  • Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties has a fund that a donor will contribute matching dollars to support the Bahamas.
  • The New York Times has released an article sharing multiple ways to help Hurricane Dorian Survivors in the Bahamas.
  • Charity Navigator has created a list of high-rated organizations providing aid and relief for Hurricane Dorian for both short-term and long-term relief.

HURRICANE DORIAN-SPECIFIC RESOURCE PAGES

North Carolina Network of Grantmakers has a resource page that will be updated with more information as Hurricane Dorian approaches North Carolina.

Council on Foundations

PEAK Grantmaking

Philanthropy California

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) Hurricane Dorian disaster profile can be found here, which provides updates on the storm as well as information on the areas of greatest need, and has launched the CDP 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Recovery Fund to support communities that will be affected by Hurricane Dorian. This fund focuses on medium- and long-term recovery, with the understanding that individuals and communities will need the support of private philanthropy for months or years as they navigate the road to recovery.

GENERAL DISASTER RELIEF RESOURCES

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) – in partnerships with CDP, GCIR offered a webinar on funder responses to hurricanes and other national disasters in a way that is inclusive of the heightened barriers immigrants can face before, during, and after a natural disaster — webinar.  GCIR also has a brief with analysis and recommendations, download (though a few years old, the information is still relevant).

Mission Investors Exchange — link to newsletter with some examples of how foundations have used impact investing in the disaster recovery context from a couple of hurricane seasons ago

The Disaster Philanthropy Playbook is a compilation of philanthropic strategies, promising practices and lessons learned that help communities be better prepared when a disaster strikes their community. In particular, it is aimed at helping philanthropic organizations and individual donors be more strategic with their investments and recognize the importance of supporting long-term recovery for vulnerable populations.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund resource Creating Order from Chaos: Roles for Philanthropy in Disaster Planning and Response provides a framework for steps that can be taken for philanthropy to response to disasters.

 

 

 

Women’s Fund of RI Awards $50K in Grants to 5 Organizations to Advance Gender Equity

The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) announced a total of $50,000 in grant funding to five organizations to advance gender equity focused on WFRI’s 2019 advocacy priorities, including disparities for Women of Color, and more generally, economic justice and access to reproductive health and freedom.

The grant recipients were Building Futures, Girls Rock, RI Black Business Association, Sista Fire and Planned Parenthood.  

More information on WFRI

 

 

BCBSRI Grants $80K to Rhode Island Free Clinic

In honor of its 80th anniversary, GCRI Member Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has awarded an $80,000 grant to the Rhode Island Free Clinic, bringing the total awarded to the clinic to $870,000 over 14 years.

“Blue Cross is one of Clinic’s longest and strongest partnerships. Their strategic investment and support has been key to the clinic expanding services over time,” said Marie Ghazal, Rhode Island Free Clinic CEO. “This support has been essential to helping the clinic provide vital care for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable adults.”

The grant is intended to support the volunteer-based clinic’s mission of providing comprehensive health and dental care to 2,400 uninsured Rhode Islanders yearly. Services are of no charge to low-income unemployed adults at the clinic. Blue Cross said that the clinic diverts uncompensated emergency department visits, saving millions of dollars in cost on the health care system.

The Rhode Island Free Clinic is one of BCBSRI’s premier funding partners in our aim to increase access to primary care for the uninsured population in Rhode Island,” said Kim Keck, BCBSRI CEO and president. “BCBSRI is committed to passionately leading a state of health and wellbeing and the work that the clinic does is aligned with our mission of facilitating access to affordable, high-quality health care.”

United Way Awards $150K to Olneyville Community Organizations

United Way of Rhode Island’s Olneyville Community Fund has awarded $150,000 to 12 organizations that support children and families in the city’s Olneyville neighborhood.

“We are part of the community fabric of Olneyville and proud to be in a position to help make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors,” said Angela Bannerman Ankoma, United Way executive vice president and director of community investment. “There is amazing work being done by organizations across this neighborhood that will now reach more children and more families – it’s very exciting.”

United Way of Rhode Island established the Olneyville Community Fund in 2008 when it relocated its headquarters to the neighborhood – considered one of Providence’s poorest – from the East Side. Since then, United Way has distributed more than $1 million from the fund to improve services for residents, increase the capacity of community-based organizations and improve public spaces.

The 12 organizations to receive grants are ONE Neighborhood Builders, Manton Avenue Project, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, Providence Community Library, The Wilbury Theater Group, Meeting Street, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, Clinica Esperanza-Hope Clinic, Center for Resilience, Back to School Celebration of Rhode Island, Kings Cathedral, YouthBuild Preparatory Academy, and the Swearer Center at Brown University.