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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Program aims to reverse learning loss

WPRI

For 30 hours a week for six weeks, the Summer Learning Initiative gives students the opportunity to learn in fun and out-of-the-box ways... "There’s ways to be able to explore and be creative without feeling like they are falling farther and farther behind, which I think a lot of youth are feeling right now because of the pandemic," [Marlene] Guay said.

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Summer energy bill assistance is available

The Westerly Sun

The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is open to all eligible Rhode Island households experiencing financial difficulty and [needing] assistance with energy expenses, even in the summer. The fund is sponsored by Rhode Island Energy, Block Island Utility District, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP and administered by United Way of Rhode Island.

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Forbes Nonprofit Council members share strategies for nonprofit leaders interested in getting large corporations to give.PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

10 Ways Nonprofits Can Influence Giving

Forbes Nonprofit Council

As nonprofits seek out donations, leveraging... win-win opportunities can be an effective way to further the social goals of the nonprofit and potential donors. Below, a panel of experts from Forbes Nonprofit Council, including Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO, each share one... strategy nonprofit leaders can leverage to influence major corporations to support community-serving efforts.

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United Way Launches Nonprofit Leadership Development Series

United Way of Rhode Island is launching a new leadership development series for staff of local nonprofits with annual budgets of $5 million and under and is currently accepting applications from interested participants. The no-cost program is the Deputy Director Learning Circle, and it was developed specifically to strengthen the competencies of nonprofit staff who aspire to become executive directors.

United Way Issues VITA Program RFP

In support of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that returns millions of dollars to the pockets of eligible Rhode Islanders, United Way of Rhode Island is making a total of $500,000 in funding available over a two-year grant cycle.

Olneyville Programs Awarded $182,708

Through its Olneyville Community Fund, United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $182,708 in grants to programs whose work is strengthening the Providence neighborhood it calls home… Investments focus on creating opportunities for all by improving access to services for residents, enhancing educational offerings for children through adults, and increasing nonprofit capacity to meet community need. Eleven organizations received funding.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Barbershop Books Prep4Success!

Join United Way of Rhode Island for Barbershop Books Prep4Success! on Friday, August 12 from noon - 3 p.m. at Haircuts & Heritage in Pawtucket. Barbershop Books inspires Black boys and other vulnerable children to read for fun by providing free books at local barbershops. Stop by for free haircut vouchers and backpacks with back-to-school essentials, and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft drinks.

United Way of Rhode Island’s 96th Annual Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our 96th Annual Celebration on Wednesday, October 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence. Together, we'll celebrate the positive impact we've made this year, thanks to you — our donors, partners, and volunteers — and honor the heroes among us. This event is free and open to all. Registration is required.

REGISTER