The Champlin Foundation announced on Thursday $5.8 million in capital funding to support charities serving Rhode Islanders in meaningful ways.

Through grants for equipment, renovations, construction or land acquisition, funding will enhance classroom learning, provide social supports, promote access to equitable health care, invest in under-resourced communities, and beyond.  

Among the 77 organizations, 11 from Newport County were awarded a total of $682,085.


  • Gnome Surf, Tiverton, Cargo Van Purchase, $25,000
  • Tiverton Library Foundation, Tiverton, Security System Improvements, $15,000


  • Bike Newport, Newport, Bike Barn & Pump Track Enhancements, $33,400
  • Newport Public Library, Newport, Carpet Replacement, $78,970
  • Rose Island Lighthouse & Fort Hamilton Trust, Newport, Ferry Landing, $25,000
  • St. Clare Newport, Newport, Building Repairs to Address Water Mitigation, $100,000


  • Newport Mental Health, Middletown, Renovation & Construction for New Primary Care Offices, $161,662
  • Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown, Pickup Truck and Electric Gator Purchase, $69,765
  • Potter League for Animals, Middletown, Workspace Construction, $16,800
  • The John Clarke Retirement Center, Middletown, New Roof, $90,000


  • Portsmouth Historical Society, Portsmouth, HVAC System, $66,668

See the full list of grantees by city/town here.

This is the first of two grant cycles in 2021, with a second cycle open to accept applications until July 2, 2021. Rhode Island non-profit agencies and organizations now have a choice of which grant cycle they wish to apply to each year, one of many modernization efforts the Foundation has undertaken to provide non-profit leaders more flexibility and support.  

“In our annual report, we reflected on 2020 as a year of resilience and looked ahead with optimism for 2021. The organizations funded in this round of grants have affirmed that sense of hope,” said Nina Stack, executive director of The Champlin Foundation in a statement. “Rhode Island’s robust network of non-profits continues to serve our state’s families and communities with courage and creativity. As the state slowly emerges on the other side of the pandemic, the leadership and vision of this group will help us to build back in ways that are better, stronger, and more inclusive.” 

Of the 77 organizations receiving funding in this cycle, 13 are first-time grant recipients. The greatest number of applicants came in the social services category and included a number of innovative approaches. For instance, the latest job training initiative at the Genesis Center, the Culinary Hub of Providence (CHOP), will allow participants to develop culinary skills and gain business experience while operating a café inside the Providence Public Library. 

There were first time applications from two organizations serving people of all abilities: the neurodiverse Spectrum Theatre Ensemble, and Gnome Surf, which provides surf therapy, art therapy, eco therapy and yoga therapy to children and families on the autism spectrum and with Down Syndrome. Another notable grant went to Community MusicWorks, enabling this education and youth serving anchor in South Providence to break ground on its new Community MusicWorks Center. This $9.2 million facility will increase access to music education and hands-on training programs in addition to creating a dynamic performance hub.  

Since 1932, The Champlin Foundation has awarded more than $600 million to fund capital projects for Rhode Island non-profit organizations. Its nine area of focus cover Arts & Culture, Conservation & Parks, Education, Health, Historic Preservation, Libraries, Social Services, Welfare of Animals, and Youth Services. For more information, visit