As a public charity, we employ long-term investment, spending and operating strategies to ensure that the dollars entrusted to us by generous Rhode Islanders last forever, and have the greatest possible impact on the community.

Investment policies

Investment and spending policies

We have a diversified asset allocation and set high performance standards for our investment managers. During the past decade, the Foundation has increased the proportion of alternative investments while decreasing its fixed income allocation.

Total fund return (as of 6/30/2021)

  • 1 Year: 35.3%
  • 5 Year: 12.6%
  • 10 Year: 8.9%
  • 20 Year: 7.9%

The board of directors annually reviews the Foundation's spending policy to ensure that our endowment continues to grow as we work to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island. Our spending policy of between 5.0 and 6.53 percent (including a support fee) is calculated over a 16-quarter trailing average. This allows us to provide a predictable stream of grants, while maintaining a prudent rate of endowment growth.

Maximizing impact in the community

We are committed to carefully managing our operating expenses with the goal of maximizing our investments in Rhode Island. Our operating expenses average approximately 1% of our total assets, which is well within industry standards for community foundations.

Recent financial documents

A record $87 million in grants

Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million.