Apply for grants

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Partnering with local nonprofits to achieve our strategic goals

Providence Equity Fund at United Way of Rhode Island

The Providence Equity Fund at United Way of Rhode Island will be accepting applications beginning on Friday, April 12, 2024. This grant program is a collaborative initiative with the City of Providence aimed at addressing equity gaps in the community. In collaboration with the City of Providence, up to $1.5 million will be awarded over two years to nonprofits addressing equity gaps in the community. This funding will support strategies that promote racial and social equity, economic mobility, and educational opportunities for underserved populations in Providence.  

In alignment with United Way of Rhode Island’s mission to build racial equity and opportunity for all Rhode Islanders, and to stay true to the spirit of the recommendations made by the Providence Municipal Reparations Commission, this funding opportunity will support projects and initiatives that seek to close the racial wealth gap, address the impact of urban renewal, and enhance cultural competency among K-12 youth.  

Applications will be due on Monday, May 6, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Decisions and notifications for this RFP are expected to be made in June 2024. 

For more information, click on the links below to see our overview with complete details of the RFP, our FAQ or to register for information sessions and virtual office hours. 

Questions about RFP content, eligibility criteria, technical assistance, or general inquiries should be directed to pvdequityfund@unitedwayri.org. Technical assistance will not be available after 5 p.m. on May 6, 2024.

Our grantmaking focus

United Way of Rhode Island makes grants consistent with our mission: Uniting our community and resources to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. We are committed to leveraging all of our assets (i.e., advocacy, convening, fundraising, strategic investments, and awareness building) to create a more equitable Rhode Island. Much of our work is done in collaboration with grantees and other partners. We strive to engage with our grantees and partners in a spirit of trust, candid communication, and transparency. Our collective efforts also depend on the support and resources of governments, the private sector, communities, and individuals.

We primarily make grants to 501(c)(3) public charities. We also make grants to support organizations or projects that work with qualifying fiscal sponsors. We do not make grants to individuals or for scholarships. It is also rare for United Way of Rhode Island to fund capital projects.

United Way of Rhode Island supports a diverse set of grantee partners across our program areas. See examples of recent grantees here.

For each round of grants, we issue a request for proposal (RFP) that outlines the work we are funding, the amounts of grants, the application process, and how we measure and evaluate results.

Sponsorships

We provide sponsorships for events and organizations on a limited basis. If you have an event or program and are looking for sponsorship, please fill out the sponsorship form at the link below.

The request for proposals (RFP) for our 2023-2026 Community Impact Fund Grants is now closed.

United way's strategic pillars

From 2021 through 2025, United Way of Rhode Island’s investments and work will be organized around the four pillars and respective focus areas outlined in the LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan.

Achieve United

Our "Achieve United" pillar is about advancing childhood learning. Its focus is early childhood literacy and out-of-school time learning programs.

Learn more

Advocate United

Our "Advocate United" pillar is about driving public policy. Our areas of focus include state and municipal policy, advocacy and research.

Learn more

Lift United

Our "Lift United" pillar concerns building economic security, including housing, workforce development, and adult education.

Learn more

Invest United

Our "Invest United" pillar involves expanding philanthropy. It's focus areas include nonprofit capacity building, resilience and diversity.

Learn more

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Additional funding and capacity building support

United Way of Rhode Island’s strategic goals include both increasing the number of Rhode Island nonprofits in stable financial condition and increasing the amount of Rhode Island households that contribute to charities. We raise millions of dollars a year for local nonprofits via our workplace campaigns and 401Gives. In these programs, donors designate gifts for the qualifying nonprofits of their choice.

  • Workplace campaign donors may select any 501c3 and nonprofits do not solicit gifts; learn more about our workplace campaigns here.
  • Nonprofits elect to participate in 401Gives and may actively solicit designated contributions; learn more about raising money via 401Gives here.

Designated funds from workplace campaigns are distributed through our agency portal and 401Gives through the GiveGab dashboard. Agencies may reach the agency portal the login link at the top of our webpages. 

Our capacity building support includes mobilizing volunteers, professional development (notably, the Executive Director Learning Circle), and the Grantmakers' Council and other resources.

Americans-turn-to-211-helpline-amid-mounting-economic-hardships-CBS-News

Americans turn to 211 helpline amid mounting economic hardships

CBS News

The Wall Street Journal reports Americans are turning to social services helpline 211 in economic emergencies. Rachel Wolfe, consumer trends reporter for The Wall Street Journal, joins CBS News to discuss.

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Internet After the End of the COVID-era Affordable Connectivity Program

The Public's Radio

Courtney Smith, Director of Innovation and Community Outreach at the United Way of Rhode Island joins The Public's Radio to discuss tips on accessing affordable and reliable internet after the end of the COVID-era Affordable Connectivity program.

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Free meals available for RI kids this summer

WPRI

State officials announced Tuesday that the Summer Food Service Program will resume in early July. Free meals will be served in communities statewide to Rhode Island students 18 and younger, with no registration required.

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United Way Hosting Equity Challenge

As part of United Way of Rhode Island’s ongoing commitment to and demonstration of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the organization is preparing to host its 2024 Equity Challenge. All Rhode Islanders, individuals, and families, as well as local businesses, organizations, and groups are invited to participate in the challenge, which is being offered at no […]

United Way Accepting Applications for Providence Equity Fund

In collaboration with the City of Providence and aligned with its mission to build racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders, United Way has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the Providence Equity Fund grant program. Available funding is to support strategies that promote racial and social equity, economic mobility, and educational opportunities for underserved populations in Providence.

United Way Hosts 12th Children’s Book Drive

United Way of Rhode Island’s Children’s Book Drive is back! In April and May, we’re teaming up with Books Are Wings to help Rhode Island children build their own libraries at home. Join us by buying and shipping books, dropping off books at one of our collection sites, or hosting a drive.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Annual Celebration 2024

Save the date!

Thursday, October 10
6 - 8 p.m.

Waterfire Arts Center
475 Valley St., Providence