HOW WE WORK
Two principles guide the work of United Way of Rhode Island:
Always starting with Community First, and always keeping equity at the center of everything we do.
During the 2020-2021 fiscal year, nearly 500 institutions, coalitions, and individuals pledged to support United Way’s LIVE UNITED 2025; a strategic plan built through an equity framework. We will continue to partner with our stakeholders to build a more equitable Rhode Island.
Hear from our chief impact and equity officer, Larry Warner, about how we will approach that work with a community first mindset that keeps equity at the center.
211: ON THE LINE
“It’s been very, very difficult at times,”
shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for 211. “But I couldn’t be more proud of our work and the ways we’ve been there to help our fellow Rhode Islanders throughout this crisis.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced resource specialists to work remotely from their homes, the service that our state and its residents can turn to for help 24/7, 365 didn’t miss a beat.
Last year, 211 answered
with an average of
16 minutes per call
connecting Rhode Islanders with food, housing, health services, and more.
Summer Learning Communities
A year after COVID-19 turned summer learning programs upside down, youth in five communities reveled in a full return to engaging, in-person activities this summer — with recommended safety guidelines in place and the support of dozens of partners.
These programs were part of United Way of Rhode Island’s Summer Learning Initiative (SLI), which provides high-quality, high-impact opportunities for students to explore new topics and ideas all summer. The SLI is funded by the donations of thousands of Rhode Islanders to the Community Impact Fund with additional support from Hasbro and Women United. This summer marked the second year of a three-year grant cycle, with programs to receive a third round of funding in summer 2022.
Community Impact Fund Distribution 2020-2021
Workforce Development, Economic Mobility & Basic Needs
Summer Learning Communities
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Early Childhood & Youth Development
Total Funding July 2020 – June 2021: $6,872,974
Our Grantee Partners
The Community Impact Fund helps Rhode Islanders gain the skills they need to achieve financial stability, move from chronic homelessness to stable and affordable housing, receive high-quality educational experiences, and, in the event of a crisis, get connected to essential services through United Way’s 211 helpline.
Along with our partners, United Way of Rhode Island secured important victories in fiscal year 2021. Here are just a few of the examples of what we were able to achieve by being United:
Passing the ‘Yes on 3’ campaign
which secured $65 million for affordable housing. This bond will provide desperately needed funding for the development of affordable housing in communities across Rhode Island.
Ending source of income discrimination in the rental market
For far too long, renters in search of a place to live would face discrimination if they were using housing assistance, like a Section 8 voucher, to pay their rent. This discrimination, which disproportionally impacted Black and brown communities, is now illegal.
Securing a dedicated funding stream for housing in the State budget
The housing crisis is not new, and it’s not going to disappear overnight. For the first time ever, the state budget now has a dedicated funding source for housing investments. This funding stream will provide predictability and opportunity as communities look to increase their housing investments.
As part of the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee, we made sure that everyone who lives in our state was counted in the 2020 Census
Because of the efforts of this diverse coalition of organizations, Rhode Island showed steady population growth that allows us to maintain much-need levels of federal funding.
In a boost to workers in the state, Rhode Island is now on its way to $15 minimum wage
and the state has its first pay equity bill to ensure that everyone is paid what they deserve regardless of their gender.
Message from the Board chair
I am honored to be elected as the Board Chair for United Way of Rhode Island. As I take on this role, I couldn’t be more excited to work with this board alongside Cortney Nicolato and the entire United Way of Rhode Island team. I am humbled by this responsibility, and so privileged to work with such an exceptional group of people who want to make of our communities more just and equitable for all.
The task ahead of us is daunting, but never more clear. The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a bright light on the many ways we are letting down our neighbors when it comes to housing, education, coordination of care and more. It also put into stark relief how inequities continue to harm our Black and brown community members.
That’s why, I believe that the United Way of Rhode Island is needed now more than ever. We are committed to put community first and ensure that equity is at the center of everything we do. That commitment is critical to building prosperity for everyone in the state.
This work will take all of us. That is why I am so thankful for the entire United Way community including our dedicated board and committee members, expert staff, loyal donors, tireless volunteers, relentless community advocates, and our partners in government, business, labor, and the nonprofit community. We’re grateful for your support and hopeful that our community will continue to grow in the years to come as we have so much more work to do!
Together, we Live United!
From July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021 (audited results)
When you support United Way of Rhode Island, you support more than one issue or program - you join a movement for change.
The work of the United Way of Rhode Island is made possible by the incredible network of donors, volunteers and partners on the following pages. We are grateful for their generosity.
Introducing the Impact Network
When our strategic plan launched in January, we set out bold goals to achieve by 2025. With gifts to our Community Impact Fund, thousands of Rhode Islanders are maximizing their impact in creating safe housing, expanding high-quality education, and securing economic and social justice for all. The newly designed individual giving program, the Impact Network, brings together all our Community Impact Fund donors.
Young Leaders Circle participated in 10 events last year where they gave, advocated, and volunteered to help our neighbors.
And, since 2011, they've given more than $1,063,150 to United Way of Rhode Island.
Women United: Leading the Charge, Inspiring the Change
Rhode Island's Women United is committed to bringing about positive change in our community and improving the lives of children in need by closing the gaps in childhood literacy. Last year, they invested $395,000 in literacy and out-of-school-time learning programs. And, since 2012, they've given more than $5.3 million to United Way of Rhode Island.