2021 Community impact and equity partners
Our 2021 Community Impact Fund Grantees
Three months after unveiling its LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan, United Way of Rhode Island is putting $4.5 million in grants to work in the community to create transformational change in the Ocean State. The funding, the first in a two-year grant cycle, was awarded to 72 organizations in support of programs targeting the root causes of the racial inequities that have held back Rhode Island’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities for generations.
Invested in our strategic plan
2021 Community Impact and Equity Partners
Thanks to our donors and partners, United Way of Rhode Island is supporting organizations that are on the front lines of building racial equity and opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. Grantees are organized by area of impact.
• Beautiful Day
• DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality)
• Foster Forward
• Fuerza Laboral
• Genesis Center
• Higher Ground International
• House of Hope CDC
• Local Initiatives Support Corporation
• Lucy’s Hearth
• Man Up, Inc.
• Mental Health Assoc. of Rhode Island
• Nonviolence Institute
• One Neighborhood Builders
• Providence Revolving Fund
• Refugee Dream Center
• Rhode Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.
• Sojourner House
• The Rhode Island Center for Justice
• West Bay Collaborative
• Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation d/b/a NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley
• YouthBuild Preparatory Academy
• A Leadership Journey
• Books Are Wings
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Rhode Island
• Children and Youth Cabinet of RI at TSNE MissionWorks
• DownCity Design
• FabNewport / PVD Young Makers
• Festival Ballet Providence
• FRIENDS WAY, Inc.
• Fund for UCAP on behalf of The UCAP School
• Highlander Charter School
• Oasis International
• OCYL: The Mayor's Office of Children, Youth and Learning
• Providence After School Alliance, Inc.
• Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth
• Rhode Island Black Storytellers
• Rhode Island Parent Information Network
• Rhode Island Urban Debate League
• Riverzedge Arts
• Roger Williams Park Zoo
• The Learning Community
Advocate United / Lift United
• Center for Health and Justice Transformation at The Miriam Hospital
• Center For Southeast Asians
• Childhood Lead Action Project
• College Unbound
• Coyote RI
• Economic Progress Institute
• Generation Citizen
• Grow Smart RI
• Housing Network of Rhode Island
• HousingWorks RI at RWU
• Latino Policy Institute at RWU
• Parents Leading for Educational Equity (PLEE)
• Pawtucket Central Falls Development Corporation
• Progreso Latino, Inc.
• Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
• Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
• Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty
• SISTA Fire /Project South
• West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation
• Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
Achieve United / Advocate United
• Movement Education Outdoors
• Young Voices
Achieve United / Lift United
• Federal Hill House
• New Urban Arts
• The Manton Avenue Project
Achieve United / Advocate United / Lift United
• Global Science Envirotech, Inc.
• Southside Community Land Trust
• Youth In Action
Featured 2021 Community Impact Fund grantees
In Rhode Island, women and non-binary people of color are the backbones of our families and our communities. As caregivers, frontline workers, educators and visionaries within our neighborhoods, we see what is possible and fight for justice. But despite the strength and vision we hold for our communities, we face the compounding challenges of structural racism and gender violence. At SISTA Fire, one of the areas we’re fighting to change is birth outcomes for Black women, women of color, and their children through a community accountability process.
– Alexa Barriga, Organizing Coordinator
We need businesses in our community to have more human capital, civic engagement, and stronger social ties and principles. Workers’ Cooperatives does that. This award from the United Way will allow us to continue our path of success and create a meaningful Economic and Social Impact.
–Heiny Maldonado, Executive Director
We are working in partnership to build an ecosystem of learning using the Providence libraries as hubs for youth to launch their lives. The addition of two coaches focused on building relationships will allow us to connect with more students. Relationships are at the heart of good learning. If our youth feel safe, and they feel like they belong, anything is possible.
Our goal is for students to develop the skills, confidence and commitment so they can make a positive impact on their communities and make their lives.
–Steve Heath, Executive Director
Youth in action
We understand the need and effectiveness of having youth in decision-making positions of power, representing themselves in all of the places that impact them. This funding allows us to expand the team to create more equitable workloads, maintain and expand youth team salaries, and increase equity in the pay of our adult leadership, who are representative of the populations we serve. This will allow us to go deeper and reach new communities that we didn't have the capacity to do before, expanding youth leadership throughout Rhode Island.
–Elliot A. Rivera, Executive Director
Program aims to reverse learning loss
For 30 hours a week for six weeks, the Summer Learning Initiative gives students the opportunity to learn in fun and out-of-the-box ways... "There’s ways to be able to explore and be creative without feeling like they are falling farther and farther behind, which I think a lot of youth are feeling right now because of the pandemic," [Marlene] Guay said.
Summer energy bill assistance is available
The Westerly Sun
The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is open to all eligible Rhode Island households experiencing financial difficulty and [needing] assistance with energy expenses, even in the summer. The fund is sponsored by Rhode Island Energy, Block Island Utility District, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP and administered by United Way of Rhode Island.
10 Ways Nonprofits Can Influence Giving
Forbes Nonprofit Council
As nonprofits seek out donations, leveraging... win-win opportunities can be an effective way to further the social goals of the nonprofit and potential donors. Below, a panel of experts from Forbes Nonprofit Council, including Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO, each share one... strategy nonprofit leaders can leverage to influence major corporations to support community-serving efforts.
United Way of Rhode Island is launching a new leadership development series for staff of local nonprofits with annual budgets of $5 million and under and is currently accepting applications from interested participants. The no-cost program is the Deputy Director Learning Circle, and it was developed specifically to strengthen the competencies of nonprofit staff who aspire to become executive directors.
In support of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that returns millions of dollars to the pockets of eligible Rhode Islanders, United Way of Rhode Island is making a total of $500,000 in funding available over a two-year grant cycle.
Through its Olneyville Community Fund, United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $182,708 in grants to programs whose work is strengthening the Providence neighborhood it calls home… Investments focus on creating opportunities for all by improving access to services for residents, enhancing educational offerings for children through adults, and increasing nonprofit capacity to meet community need. Eleven organizations received funding.
Join United Way of Rhode Island for our 96th Annual Celebration on Wednesday, October 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence. Together, we'll celebrate the positive impact we've made this year, thanks to you — our donors, partners, and volunteers — and honor the heroes among us. This event is free and open to all. Registration is required.