Providence, RI –  The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) has announced its 2018 grant cycle.  

Since launching its grant program in 2001, WFRI has awarded more than $650,000 to organizations developing innovative programs that seek to promote gender equity and improve the lives of women and girls in RI.  This year, the WFRI will award grants totaling $50,000. The grants are made possible by the generosity of donors.

WFRI uses social change grant making to advance equity and social justice, focus on long-term solutions and address the unique needs of women and girls. Many of society’s problems have a disproportionate impact on women and girls. There is an undeniable correlation between poverty, low self-esteem, poor health and inadequate healthcare, job access and wages, domestic violence, sexual assault and being female.  For women and girls in Rhode Island, the playing field isn’t level yet. Consider these statistics:

  • 83% of women and 61% of men believe that men are paid more than their female colleagues for the same work (Ellevest; USA Today)
  • On average, RI women earn 86% of what men earn (Status of Working Women in Rhode Island report)
  • 16% of working-age women and 19% of children were living in families with incomes below the federal poverty level
  • 40.6% of single mothers in RI live in poverty compared to the national average of 36.5%
  • RI has among the lowest levels of female elected representation in local and national offices in the U.S.

WFRI seeks to fund projects and initiatives that use a “gender lens” to focus on the unique needs of women and girls in Rhode Island and provide gender specific solutions to societal problems.  In addition to this, WFRI invites proposals that address our policy and advocacy concerns including:

  • Fight for Fair Pay:

WFRI supports legislation to bar employers from asking for wage history before extending an employment offer, a practice which perpetuates the gender wage gap

  • Access to Reproductive Health and Freedom:  

WFRI supports legislation to codify Roe vs. Wade, ensure affordable access to reproductive health care (including birth control) and to repeal unconstitutional laws in RI related to reproductive health and freedom

  • Freedom from Sexual Harassment

To learn more about WFRI’s funding focus, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, please contact Kelly Nevins at  An informational session will be held via conference call on the application guidelines on Wednesday, February 14 at 4:00pm.  Interested parties may call 712-451-0200, using PIN 189687. Applications are being accepted now through March 16, 2018 with grant awards announced by October 11, 2018.

About Women’s Fund of Rhode Island and Grant Program

The mission of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island to invest in women and girls through advocacy, research and strategic partnerships designed to eliminate gender inequity through systemic change. To access our research reports and learn about upcoming events, please visit  

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.