The Rhode Island Foundation is offering local libraries, neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations grants of up to $10,000 to fund proposals that bring people together as a community. March 15 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, foster dialogue and build lasting bonds,” said Jenny Pereira, vice president of grants and community investments.
Since launching the Community Grants program in 2016, the Foundation has awarded nearly $2.7 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.
Previous recipients include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County, which received $2,628 to offer diversity training to Middletown High School students; the Conanicut Island Land Trust in Jamestown, which received $5,000 to add six community garden beds at Godena Farm; the town of Middletown, which received $10,000 to sponsor summer music nights at Second Beach; and the town of Tiverton, which received $14,974 to restore Grinnell’s Beach.
Proposals should spark community engagement at the local level, be easily accessible, create new or enhance existing partnerships, be relevant to the community, promote the role of shared public spaces as local anchors, be doable and demonstrate a meaningful impact.
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 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. 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.