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.

Forbes Nonprofit Council members share tips on building mutually beneficial partnerships. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

Form Symbiotic Nonprofit Relationships

Forbes Nonprofit Council

"If not done carefully, a business relationship has the potential to hinder rather than help the work being done by both organizations. To prevent collaborations that hinder nonprofit work, 11 members of Forbes Nonprofit Council, including Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO, share how nonprofit leaders can form mutually beneficial relationships with a partner or another organization."

READ ON SITE

Rakia Islam is one of the Design Team members. PHOTO: Refugee Dream Center

Nonprofit Center Design Team Announced

GoLocalProv

"United Way of Rhode Island announced on Tuesday the... members of a 'Design Team' that will be tasked with co-creating a vision and plan for... a Nonprofit Resource Center... 'We had a strong application response, and [these] individuals particularly stood out for their collection of unique insights and commitment to collaboration,' said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way."

READ ON SITE

CORTNEY NICOLATO is the CEO and president of the United Way of Rhode Island. As of Monday afternoon, this year's 401Gives Day raised $3.09 million, breaking last year’s record total by close to a million dollars. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

401Gives raises $3.09M for 507 nonprofits

Providence Business News

"This year's 401Gives Day raised the bar, once again, in supporting the state's nonprofit sector. As of Monday afternoon, the annual online fundraising initiative raised $3.09M, breaking last year's record total by close to a million dollars. It also saw a record number of donors – 12,850 in total as of 2:15 p.m. Monday – and number of organizations supported at 507, exceeding last year's mark by 87."

READ ON SITE

Seeking Input for Nonprofit Resource Center

“The Design Team working with United Way of Rhode Island to create a vision and plan for a statewide Nonprofit Resource Center is seeking input from the community to help guide what the center could offer. The first virtual session will look at current nonprofit capacity, followed by a number of visioning sessions focused on brainstorming strategies to strengthen nonprofits.”

Olneyville Community Fund RFP Released

“Continuing its commitment to strengthening the neighborhood it calls home, United Way of Rhode Island has released a request for proposal (RFP) for funding from its Olneyville Community Fund. More than $100,000 in grants is being made available to nonprofits located in Olneyville and those whose work specifically serves the Olneyville community.”

11 Leaders Selected for Design Team

“Work to create a Nonprofit Resource Center to support Rhode Island organizations is picking up steam with the selection of the members of the Design Team that will be tasked with cocreating a vision and plan for what the effort will look like. United Way of Rhode Island… has named 11 nonprofit leaders to the team.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Visioning Session: Capacity Building Effort

United Way of Rhode Island is partnering with local nonprofit leaders to design a nonprofit resource hub for organizations across the state. Join us for a virtual, 90-minute visioning session to brainstorm strategies to address the needs of Rhode Island nonprofits and structural inequities in the sector. There will be five sessions — choose the one that best fits your schedule.

TUESDAY, 5/31 | 1 P.M.

 

MONDAY, 6/6 | 2:30 P.M.

 

THURSDAY, 6/9 | 9 A.M.

 

MONDAY, 6/13 | 2 P.M.

 

TUESDAY, 6/14 | NOON

Day of Action

Join United Way of Rhode Island for Day of Action on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m at United Way in Providence. We'll be sorting, labeling, and preparing books collected during our Children's Book Drive 2022 for distribution to kids in afterschool and summer learning programs. Three shifts are available — 9 - 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., and 2 - 4 p.m. This is a family friendly volunteer opportunity.

REGISTER

The Night Is Young

Don't miss the largest young professionals event of the year! Join United Way's Young Leaders Circle for The Night Is Young on Saturday, June 18 from 7 - 11 p.m. at Skyline at Waterplace. Register now to get early bird tickets for $45.

REGISTER