Expanding philanthropy

Expanding philanthropy

invest united

WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST

Rhode Island is among the states with the highest portion of workers employed in the nonprofit sector, but one of the lowest in terms of the portion of households that give to charity each year.

Rhode Island’s 3,500 charitable nonprofits do not have access to the necessary resources, and data to grow, achieve, and sustain their mission. This is especially true of organizations led by and serving people of color. As a result of the outsized challenges faced by nonprofit leaders of color, they are substantially underrepresented in the sector.

HOUSEHOLD GIVING

2.2%

of Rhode Island households give to charity each year, among the lowest rates in the nation

NONPROFIT SECTOR EMPLOYMENT

18%

of workers are employed in the nonprofit sector, among the highest in the nation

NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP

3%

of nonprofit CEOs and 10% of nonprofit board members are people of color, who make up 24% of the state's population

WHAT WE'RE DOING TO EXPAND PHILANTHROPY

Developing nonprofit leadership and resiliency

Working with the nonprofit community, we are co-creating programs, products and services to develop a more robust pipeline of leaders of color, build operational efficiencies, encourage collaboration, and support impact measurement. Historically, we’ve partnered with nonprofits for decades as a major fundraiser and grantmaker. More recently, our programs to build capacity for nonprofit partners have also included our Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, Executive Director Leadership Council and 401Gives fundraising program. This year, we also intend to create a nonprofit center or association to strengthen professional development and infrastructure capabilities in the sector.

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Empowering donors of today and tomorrow

The philanthropists of tomorrow are serving our community today in so many ways. United Way of Rhode Island is creating experiences that help donors connect with the mission that is important to them, as well as to provide easy-to-use tools to support their giving and volunteer needs. Through our partnership with workplaces, we raise roughly $13 million for local nonprofits via annual workplace giving campaigns. In 2020, we launched 401Gives to encourage all Rhode Islanders to support local nonprofits. Our goal is to raise $1.5 million on April 1, 2021.

Supporting corporations’ role as community champions

Every day, Rhode Island’s corporations are giving their time, talents and treasures to strengthen our state. United Way of Rhode Island will continue to provide resources and consultative support to help companies shape and measure the return on their community investment and corporate social responsibility. Our more than 350 workplace partners include many of the state’s leading companies, institutions and labor unions. Learn more about the organizations that have joined us to transform Rhode Island here. In 2021, we will be extending our consultative role by implementing United Way’s Shared Purpose (corporate social responsibility) program in Rhode Island (learn more).

Inspiring volunteerism

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. When a volunteer participates in a short or long-term project, passions ignite and last a lifetime. We will continue to invest in the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island, connecting more Rhode Islanders with volunteer opportunities and educating youth on the importance of serving one’s community in this way.

Working towards our Invest United 2025 Goals

LIVE United 2025: Invest United

Expanding Philanthropy

Through our Invest United pillar, we're building nonprofit resiliency and leadership development. We're also empowering donors, engaging corporations, and connecting Rhode Islanders with volunteer opportunities.

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Goal: Capacity Building

$5m total investment by UWRI in capacity building and operational funding to RI nonprofits.

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Source: United Way of RI (2020)
Frequency: Varies

Goal: Leaders of Color

Triple the number of organizations with directors and [a majority of] board members of color in Rhode Island (Triple # or %?)

Source: GCRI/UWRI Survey Data (2021)
Frequency: Annual

HOW YOU CAN HELP EXPAND PHILANTHROPY

“If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is – living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Donate

Give to our Community Investment Fund.

Volunteer

Volunteer for on of 75+ organizations via the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island.

Give Again

On April 1, give generously to Rhode Island nonprofits via 401Gives.

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Rethinking how one of R.I.’s largest nonprofits can grow

The Boston Globe

In October, [Idrees "Lanre"] Ajakaiye was appointed the new chief development officer at... United Way of Rhode Island where he'll be in charge of helping... United Way achieve its current strategic plan, which outlines the nonprofit's investment of $100 million over five years to help achieve racial equity.

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THE PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCIL gave the second and final approval on Wednesday to a $10 million spending plan for racial reparations. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

City Council gives final approval to $10M reparations budget

Providence Business News

A two-yearslong effort to bring racial reparations to Providence achieved a milestone Wednesday... The approved funding largely mirrors recommendations set forth by a city panel based on community input, but with one major change that shifts some money into a COVID-19 Equity Fund to be managed by United Way of Rhode Island.

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How you can save money amidst Rhode Island Energy rate hike

ABC6

With rates rising starting Oct. 1, Rhode Islanders have many ways to save money and energy this fall... [For] anyone... need[ing]... financial assistance... United Way of Rhode Island’s 211 service may help... 'We’re here to help the community navigate resources,' said Courtney Smith, director of... 211... The service is available online at 211 United Way of Rhode Island or over the phone.

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New Survey of R.I. Nonprofits Highlights Dire Need

As Rhode Islanders… prepare to participate in Giving Tuesday, the results of a new survey paint a stark picture of the challenges facing the state’s nonprofit sector. Local community-based organizations continue to provide services for communities still facing pandemic-level needs, while facing inflation-driven costs and inadequate staffing caused by the physical and emotional toll of the last two years.

United Way of Rhode Island Appoints Four to Its Board of Directors

Four community leaders have been appointed to the United Way of Rhode Island Board of Directors… Elected for three-year terms are David Bonenberger, president, Rhode Island Energy/PPL Corporation; Anthony Botelho, senior vice president, team leader, Washington Trust; Courtney Hawkins, health and human services industry executive, Salesforce; and Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, senior vice president, private client advisor, Bank of America.

I. Lanre Ajakaiye Joins United Way of R.I. as Chief Development Officer

Following a broad, competitive search for its chief development officer, United Way of Rhode Island has hired a community leader known to be an innovative changemaker. The organization has chosen Idrees “Lanre” Ajakaiye, who brings a deep, diverse range of experience to United Way’s work to transform the future by building racial equity and creating opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.

UPCOMING EVENTS

401Gives Open House

Join us for a 401Gives Open House on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Rhode Island College. Learn about Rhode Island's statewide day of giving and how your fabulous nonprofit can be a part of it.

Information sessions will be held at 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public.

REGISTER

The State of the RI Nonprofit Sector

Join United Way of Rhode Island and Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island for a virtual conversation about The State of the RI Nonprofit Sector on Friday, Dec. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Together, we'll explore the challenges facing Rhode Island nonprofits. We'll also discuss opportunities to build capacity and support nonprofit work in 2023.

This event is free and open to the public.

REGISTER