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 3/31/2024)

  • 1 Year: 14.6%
  • 5 Year: 9.8%
  • 10 Year: 7.8%
  • 20 Year: 7.7%

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 current spending policy of between 5.0 and 5.75 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

2023 giving and granting

Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation awarded a record $89 million in grants to approximately 2,500 nonprofit organizations in 2023, raising $46 million in gifts. Through civic leadership, fundraising, and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is improving the lives of all Rhode Islanders.