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.

Lisa Guillette is the executive director of Foster Forward.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Zoning laws hindering housing construction

The Boston Globe

"Cortney Nicolato, the CEO of United Way of Rhode Island and another member of the special legislative commission, said most of the state’s land use enabling legislation was written in 1991... 'When you have 100 amendments in a 30-year legislation, it's clearly not working... The housing crisis cannot be truly transformed until we tackle systemic barriers, like zoning laws and land use.'"

READ ON SITE

McKee is proposing $250M for housing

McKee Proposes $250 Million for Housing

GoLocalProv

"Our state's housing crisis is significant and must be a priority in the budget. But just as important, the investment needs to combine with transformational change in the systems surrounding housing as a whole," said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island.

READ ON SITE

Thumbnail with side-by-side images of WPRI's Kim Kalunian (left) and United Way of Rhode Island's Kyle Bennett (right) with the headline, "COMMUNITY FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH THE UNITED WAY."

Community Focus: United Way/Kyle Bennett

WPRI 12

"Director of Policy and Equity for United Way of Rhode Island Kyle Bennett joined 12 News at 4 to discuss the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, how many families benefited from it, and what residents can do to help."

VIEW ON SITE

Voting Begins for Nonprofit Innovation Lab

“Following months of honing their innovative ideas to create positive social impact in our state, leaders of six nonprofits will make their pitch to Rhode Islanders via brief videos in hopes of winning the Public Choice Award of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. The voting opens Jan. 19 and ends on Jan. 24, with the winning organization receiving $5,000 in funding.”

Leaders Selected for ED Learning Circle

“Leaders of 11 local nonprofits have been selected by United Way of Rhode Island as fellows for its next Executive Director Learning Circle series. The year-long program takes an innovative approach to building the capacity of, and strengthening, the state’s nonprofit sector.”

211: On the Line

“It’s been very, very difficult at times,” shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for United Way 211 in Rhode Island. “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.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

National 211 Day Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our National 211 Day Celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Together, we're celebrating our 211 team who is always there, our donors who make it possible to answer each call, and our community partners who help callers get the services they need. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

Equity Challenge 2022

Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that. After registering, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks with resources, reflection questions, and actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.

REGISTER