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The Rhode Island Foundation is offering local libraries, schools, neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations grants of up to $10,000 to fund proposals that bring people together as a community. March 31 is the deadline to apply.

“We are looking for ideas that will enhance the quality of life, build relationships and improve community connections. Our goal is to support work that will enliven neighborhoods and build lasting bonds among residents,” said Jenny Pereira, vice president of grants and community investments in a statement.

Since launching the Community Grants program in 2016, the Foundation says in a press release that it has awarded nearly $2.5 million to hundreds of projects across Rhode Island. Work has ranged from creating performance spaces and urban farms, to hosting neighborhood meals and making historic places and nature preserves more accessible to the public.

According to the Foundation, recent recipients include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County, which received $2,628 to for youth programs; the Aquidneck Community Table, which received $10,000 to expand school and community gardens; the Hi-Lo Neighborhood Association, which received $9,730 for exercise equipment for Donovan Manor and the Lo Rise in Newport; the Melville Elementary School in Portsmouth, which received $10,000 to build an outdoor learning zone; the Little Compton Community Center, which received a grant to its communal theater space; and the Aquidneck Island Land Trust received $6,616 to improve its trail system at Little Creek Preserve in Portsmouth.

The Foundation says that priority will be given to proposals that include community support such as matching grants, the participation of volunteers and donated space and other forms of in-kind contributions. Other considerations may include whether projects are led by or serve historically marginalized groups, including people who identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous or multiracial.

While both new initiatives and enhancements to existing projects are eligible, the Foundation says that the grants are intended to support one-time costs and expenses. Applicants will not be eligible for renewed funding for the same project in future years. Capital campaigns, endowments, for-profit entities, individuals, political groups and lobbying efforts are not eligible.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants last year. Through leadership, fundraising, and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information about applying for a Community Grant, visit rifoundation.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

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