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.

what our "iNVEST UNITED" goals are

NONPROFIT RESILIENCY

+50%

the number of Rhode Island nonprofits in stable financial condition, defined as having >3 months of cash reserves

VOLUNTEERISM

+25%

more people in Rhode Island who volunteer, with heightened focus on sills-based volunteerism

CAPACITY BUILDING

$5M

invested in capacity-building and operational funding for Rhode Island nonprofits

LEADERS OF COLOR

3x

as many nonprofit leaders and board members of color in Rhode Island

HOUSEHOLD GIVING

+50%

increase in the percent of Rhode Island households that give to charity

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.

IN THE NEWS

21-Day Equity Challenge logo

United Way starts 21-Day Equity Challenge

Rhode Island Monthly

"If you’d like to learn more about equity and its role in the fight against systemic racism, United Way… is here to help. Starting on Wednesday, February 24, Rhode Islanders can take part in United Way’s 21-Day Equity Challenge. Participants will receive a daily email that will feature different topics on racial equity, [including] racial identity, implicit bias… and allyship."

Read on site

Labor Vision TV LIVE UNITED 2025 Cortney Nicolato Erica Hammond

Labor Vision TV: LIVE UNITED 2025

Labor Vision TV

"Erica Hammond sits down with United Way of Rhode Island's CEO Cortney Nicolato. At the start of the new year United Way… introduced its LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan… The pair will discuss the importance of explicitly addressing systemic inequity, specifically racial inequity, and the role all of us can play in the fight against poverty throughout Rhode Island."

View on site

11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council

11 Ways Nonprofits Can Garner Feedback

Forbes Nonprofit Council

"As with any business, [nonprofits must] balance… where… donors want to go and what… [customers] desire… [and] find a way to make giving feedback as painless as possible… To help, 11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council discuss how [nonprofits can] generate feedback from both donors and customers to better plot the trajectory of the organization."

Read on site

UPCOMING EVENTS

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YLC and Wavemaker Networking Night

Join Young Leaders Circle (YLC) members and Wavemaker Fellows at 5:30 p.m for a virtual networking event. You'll have the opportunity to meet other young professionals and expand your network from the comfort of your home.

Register here.

forum on economic stability

Forum on Economic Stability

Join United Way of Rhode Island and the City of Providence at 1 p.m. for a virtual forum on economic stability. You'll hear from policymakers and advocates about policies you can advocate for to help Rhode Island families achieve economic stability.

Register here.

Our Community Learning Partners Series features community partners that are dedicated to improving children's literacy.

Community Learning Partners Series

Join Women United at 12 p.m. for the next event in their Community Learning Partners Series. You'll hear an update on the state of afterschool in Rhode Island from United Way's Ayana Melvan and Representative Julie A. Casimiro.

Register here.