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

Donna Wood lowered her 15 month-old son, Corey, who has severe disabilities, down into his stroller. Wood, Corey, and her older children are all living in a single hotel room in Warwick, R.I. They were evicted from their home in July after the landlord sold the property and are now struggling to avoid homelessness. JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF

Family struggles to avoid homelessness

The Boston Globe

"'I never thought I'd be in this situation," said Donna Wood, a single working mom. 'But there's nothing in the state that protects anybody in the situation that I'm in [against] homelessness, even with my four children. Even with one who is incredibly disabled.'"

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Thumbnail: Cortney Nicolato of the United Way discusses the proposal for $500 million for affordable housing.

Should R.I. Spend $500M on Housing?

GoLocalProv

"Cortney Nicolato… United Way of Rhode Island['s CEO] and one of the coalition members calling for the spending[,] said... the lack of affordable housing is the most critical issue now facing the state... 'We are proposing $500M of [Rhode Island’s American Rescue Plan Act funds] be utilized for the building [and] maintaining [of] affordable housing here in our state.'"

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United Way of R.I. awards $175K in grants

Providence Business News

United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $175K in grants to 12 nonprofit organizations for their work toward creating long-term change in [Providence's] Olneyville neighborhood... The investments were awarded from its Olneyville Community Fund, dedicated to improve services for residents in the neighborhood, enhance public spaces and increase the capacity of community-based organizations."

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UPCOMING EVENTS

United Way’s 95th Annual Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our 95th Annual Celebration on Tuesday, October 26 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Together, we're celebrating Rhode Island United and honoring our extraordinary community volunteers.

REGISTER

22nd Annual Lights On Afterschool

Join the Rhode Island Afterschool Network for our 22nd annual Lights On Afterschool celebration on Thursday, October 28, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Come celebrate our amazing afterschool professionals and learn how afterschool programs are closing Rhode Island's achievement gap.

Register