Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Non-profits ~ Rhode Island Foundation ~ Providence

1 Exchange Terrace
Providence, Rhode Island



When I toured the Union Station building, I had the privilege of meeting with Kathleen Malin, Vice President of Technology & Operations Management, Jessica David, Vice President of Strategy, Planning & Special Projects, and Melanie Coon, Senior Vice President for Communications & Marketing. I also was introduced to several of the Grants staff. They were all very welcoming.

Union Station by I {heart} Rhody

After meeting with Kathleen and Jessica, I learned a lot more about the Foundation. Even so, I think their site explains their mission better than I could paraphrase:

"The Rhode Island Foundation is a proactive community and philanthropic leader dedicated to meeting the needs of the people of Rhode Island. 
To advance this mission we:
  • Actively inspire philanthropy and increase permanent resources for the state of Rhode Island
  • Create maximum positive impact through our grantmaking, outreach and other investments in the community
  • Provide leadership and a forum for dialogue on critical community issues
  • Collaborate with individual, business, government and community partners to catalyze positive change and develop solutions to longstanding challenges"
The foundation is a central hub for more than 600 individual funds and foundations. They provide common fundraising and help to see the connection between the dots of individual non-profits with similar and cooperative goals.

To help strengthen the local communities, the Foundation offers the Initiative for Non Profit Excellence, sharing best practices and providing tools and research to help the locals thrive.

Their signature initiatives are Education and Health Care, with ancillary initiatives in the arts, entrepreneurship and more as they support those signature goals. For example, they support art therapy in healthcare and art in education.

The Foundation makes grants and raises funds for their initiatives. For those interested in making donations to their favorite causes, they offer a Community Dashboard that provides datasets to help  individuals and nonprofits make informed choices on where best to focus their funds.

Jessica David, the Foundantion's Vice President of Strategy, Planning & Special Projects, was named one of Providence Monthly's 10 to Watch in 2013. I sat down with her to talk about the award, and learned where the Foundation is moving to in the future. That will be in an upcoming post.

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