Community is created at the intersection of people and places. It’s the most tangible place where relationships are formed, challenges are felt, problems are solved. That’s why community-making is important.
The Foundation’s Community Grants program provides grants up to $10,000 for community-making efforts that make unique and important things happen at this intersection.
Previous Community Grants have supported community gardens, walking tours, artistic performances, public art, and little free libraries. For 2021, we are looking for projects that:
- Build social networks and connection among neighbors
- Develop and sustain strong relationships that persist over time and experience
- Enhance the role of shared public spaces as community anchors
- Help people collaborate in order to identify goals, solve problems, or make group decisions
- Share traditions with community members
We also consider whether the project will serve and/or be led by historically marginalized communities, provide geographic spread across Rhode Island, and align with available funds.
We also encourage applicants to identify a contingency plan to ensure grant funds will be spent by June 30, 2022 in the event of COVID-19 restrictions or other unforeseen/unexpected delays.
Nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, public agencies like libraries or schools, and volunteer-led groups such as neighborhood and resident associations are eligible to apply. Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) IRS designation will require a fiscal sponsor.
To be eligible, proposals must:
- Be doable – i.e. they will generate visible results within the next 12 – 18 months
- Have staying power -- i.e. create a lasting impact
- Be openly accessible to the community
- Be relevant and meaningful to the specific community
- Leverage capital (financial, human, and social) from the community – as indicated by a cash match, committed volunteer time, donated space, or other in-kind contributions
Community Grants are intended to support one-time costs and expenses, and are not meant to sustain ongoing programming. Applicants will not be eligible for renewed support for the same project in future years. The program does not support:
- Capital campaigns
- Endowment funds
- For-profit entities
- Fundraising events
- Lobbying efforts
- Political groups
- Religious organizations for religious purposes
Applications must be submitted by midnight (EST) on March 12, 2021. Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST).