Invitation to Join in the Design Process for a New Nonprofit Resource Center
United Way of Rhode Island is partnering with local nonprofit leaders to design a new nonprofit resource hub to build the capacity of nonprofits across the state. While the effort is designed to be inclusive and accessible for all social impact organizations, United Way is committed to centering the voices and priorities of small, mid-size and BIPOC-led nonprofits.
We are hoping that this process will help us to lift up existing capacity building resources, address obstacles that nonprofits have to accessing support, and develop new initiatives that can strengthen nonprofit organizations and empower and equip the staff who work in the sector.
There will be three phases of the design process, guided by a Design Team made up of 11 local nonprofit leaders (list below) and facilitated by Community Wealth Partners, a consulting firm with extensive experience in this type of work:
- Stage 1 — Landscape Mapping and Needs Assessment
- Stage 2 — Visioning
- Stage 3 — Business Model Development
Deb Linnell, a local consultant, with extensive experience in nonprofit capacity building, will build on statewide input by researching both traditional and innovative national capacity building models through the summer.
There will be open opportunities for input at each stage, through public Input Sessions, surveys and an online portal. We would like to have stakeholders (nonprofit staff, Board members, volunteers, participants, policymakers, etc.) from across the state participate in the design process to ensure that your concerns, needs and innovative ideas are incorporated.
Online Portal for Ideas and Questions
Share your ideas, input, questions and concerns with the Design Team through the online portal, at any stage of the process. They want to hear from you!
Stage 1 – Landscape Mapping and Needs Assessment
The first stage in the process will be to understand the current capacity building resources in Rhode Island, and those outside of the state that provide services to RI nonprofits, so please share your experience and insights on current resources, their accessibility and value through this survey.
The Design Team has been meeting with nonprofit leaders to learn more about the the needs and challenges facing the sector, and wants to hear from you!
The Stage 1 Public Input Session will be held virtually on May 24, at 8:30am. Please register here.
Stage 2 – Visioning
The second phase, starting at the end of May, will be focused on envisioning strategies and offerings that can address some of the needs articulated in the first phase, as well as opportunities to address some of the structural inequities in the sector.
There will be five public visioning sessions — all the sessions will be structured similarly, so you can choose the one that best fits your schedule.
Here are the dates of the visioning sessions. Click to register on the session you prefer:
The visioning phase will conclude with a public Input Session in July (date TBD).
Business Model Development
It is important that the offerings and impact of this initiative will provide capacity building support in an enduring way, so the third phase will be the development of a sustainable business model. There will be another public Input Session in August to assist the Design Team and Community Wealth in the development of a sustainable business model for the center (date TBD).
We know that for this effort to be successful, we need to have engagement and ideas from across the state, across the sector, and from diverse stakeholders, so please join us!
Thank you so much for all you do to make our communities stronger and more equitable!
If you would like to receive updates about the design process, please email email@example.com to be added to the mailing list.
Questions, Concerns or Ideas?
If you have questions about the Input or Visioning Sessions, the overall design process, or have ideas or concerns to share, please reach out to any members of the Design Team (below) or email Lori Bartczak at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will soon be a portal on the United Way website for nonprofit leaders to submit ideas and questions.
* Design Team Members
- Tarshire Battle – Roots 2 Empower
- Rikki Davis – RIOT RI
- Anthony Garcia – Segue Institute
- Roberto Gonzalez – SteamBox
- Anthony Hubbard – YouthBuild
- Rakia Islam – Refugee Dream Center
- Niko Merritt – Sankofa Community Connection
- James Monteiro – Campus Reentry Program
- Tina Pederson — RAMP
- JoAnn Schofield – Mentor RI
- Kristen Williams – Riverzedge Arts
GCRI Resources for Nonprofits
While GCRI is unable to provide grants or funding for nonprofits directly, we are committed to supporting and strengthening the nonprofit sector in Rhode Island. Working with funders through our Nonprofit Capacity Building Catalyst Group, GCRI looks for opportunities to leverage resources to increase nonprofit sustainability statewide.
Each February GCRI offers a Meet the Funders session, which provides an accessible environment for nonprofits to learn more about a variety of funders across the state.
We periodically offer professional development sessions, nonprofit-funder dialogues and other opportunities, so be sure to subscribe to GCRI Connect, our email newsletter, by emailing Nancy. Wolanski@uwri.org.
Skills Based Volunteerism
GCRI’s Employee Engagement Catalyst Group is also actively working to increase skills-based volunteerism by employees at GCRI member organizations. These volunteers offer occasional content workshops, consulting and pro bono project work. More information on GCRI’s Skills-Based Volunteer Initiative
Resources for Rhode Island Nonprofits
Please note that these links are provided for reference purposes only and do not imply endorsement of any organization or opinion reflected on these sites. Rhode Island resources are listed first in each category, followed by national resources.
GCRI shares information about opportunities provided by GCRI members, as well as various organizations across the state that provide professional and organizational development support for nonprofits, information on RFP’s, training and resources available to Rhode Island nonprofits through GCRI Connect, our periodic e-newsletter for nonprofits. If you would like to receive GCRI Connect, please email Nancy.email@example.com to be added to the email list.
Grant Research and Grantwriting
Foundation Collection at Providence Public Library
Foundation Center’s GrantSpace — training, Knowledge Base, foundation database
Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online
Bolder Advocacy “Influencing Public Policy in the Digital Age” Resource Guide
Boards and Governance
Financial Education and Empowerment
FMA Financial Management Tools for Nonprofits
Johnson & Wales University Feinstein Technology & Design Center — project-based graphic support for Rhode Island nonprofits provided by students
Free Geek — computers for nonprofits and low-income individuals in Rhode Island
Idealware — training and assistance with technology decisions
Microsoft — product donation, discounts and grants
Tech Soup — discounted and donated technology and software
Insurance for Nonprofits
RI Community Jobs Listserv — hosted by Swearer Center at Brown University
Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Job Postings
Legal Assistance and Resources
Roger Williams University Pro Bono Collaborative — project-based legal assistance for Rhode Island nonprofits serving low-income individuals provided by lawyers and law students
Roger Williams University Business Start-Up Clinic (provides nonprofit assistance as well) — project-based legal assistance for Rhode Island nonprofits provided by law students
Lawyers Clearinghouse — provides legal assistance and pro bono work for Massachusetts nonprofits
Legal Templates — Stanford University Law School
Pro Bono and Skills-Based Volunteers
Roger Williams University Community Partnerships Center — Project-based assistance from students and graduate students
Taproot Foundation — connect with at-a-distance pro bono experts
Professional and Organizational Development
Rhode Island Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence
Expansion Arts — Organizational development for Rhode Island arts organizations, funded by Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Rhode Island Foundation, and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
NonprofitReady.org — free online professional development
Free and Low-Cost Training Webinars and Online Courses
Project Management Resources
Ocean State Project Management Institute — pro bono project management mentoring for Rhode Island nonprofits
Templates and Sample Documents
Society for Nonprofits (includes board member agreements and strategic plan outlines)
Tech Soup (RFP resources for technology projects)
Finding/Working with Consultants
Starting a Nonprofit
Creating a Strategic Plan — recording from SCORE Boston
GCRI sends out occasional information about resources and opportunities available to Rhode Island nonprofits, as well as RFP’s and funding opportunities. If you are interested in joining our nonprofit maling list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.