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Grants for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce in Rhode Island

The application for this program is currently closed

Throughout 2022, stakeholders from the education sector came together to determine ways to use their collective power to diversify the educator workforce in Rhode Island. These stakeholders represent leaders from school districts, K-12 state education, higher education, State legislators, classroom teachers, policy and research agencies, and local community-based organizations.

The approach taken followed the collective impact model which begins by acknowledging stakeholders’ experiences, expertise, insights, and ideas, while breaking down silos and building the trust necessary to reach consensus around both the challenges and actions that need to be prioritized in a collaborative solutions-focused plan.

This grant program aims to support Rhode Island based nonprofit organizations and/or local education agencies (LEAs) seeking to develop and implement evidence-based or evidence-informed strategies and efforts to increase racial and ethnic diversity among the teacher workforce in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Foundation is partnering with Freedom Dreams and Distinctive Success Solutions who will provide ongoing technical support and coaching to applicants throughout the proposal process and to awardees during the project timeline.

Proposals for collaborative pilot projects to increase diversity among the Rhode Island teacher workforce through a targeted focus on the recruitment and retention of teachers of color, increasing access and support for people of color in teacher education pipeline, or any combination thereof, will be considered. For more information on Year 1 of RI’s Collective Impact Approach to Teacher Diversity Project click here.

Proposals may be for projects that are up to two years in duration and for budgets of up to $300,000 for two years. We anticipate awarding 3-4 grants.

Wondering if you should apply? Here are some things to consider.

  • Teams (of two or more) nonprofit, 501(c)3 organizations, and/or local education agencies (LEAs) located in and serving the state of Rhode Island are eligible to apply.
  • This program does not fund individuals, scholarships or research, capital or endowment efforts, or fundraising events.
  • The Rhode Island Foundation believes that our community can best be served by charitable organizations that both reflect and serve the diversity of our community. We do not award grants to applicants or for programs that have a policy that discriminates against any person or group in any way that is either unlawful or inconsistent with the mission or values of the Foundation.

  • Holistic and people-centered. Projects that holistically assess existing barriers to increased representation and longevity in the teaching profession as experienced by people of color and that seek to address, remove, and otherwise mitigate those barriers.
  • Collective impact models. Projects that are collaborative in nature and include a focus on strong partnerships that will yield greater opportunities to meet the proposed outcomes and secure funding to sustain the work beyond the timeline of the grant.
  • Effective and evidence-based. Projects that are evidence-based or evidence-informed and that can impact a significant number of individuals, with a particular focus on increasing racial and ethnic representation among the teacher workforce or of the matriculation of local students of color into teacher education programs that lead to licensure in Rhode Island.
  • Identifies and implements innovative models. New promising models and partnerships that have been piloted both within and beyond Rhode Island.
  • Prioritizing evaluation. Projects that include specific metrics and a plan for how they will assess their progress and evaluate the effectiveness of their proposed activities throughout the grant timeline.
  • Considers sustainability. Proposals that include plans for long term sustainability including the ability to leverage additional funding beyond the timeline of the project.

Applicants must apply by May 1, 2023. See below for application link.

Notifications of decisions will be made by late June 2023.

Applications should align with the recommendations from the Collective Impact Approach to Teacher Diversity Collaborative Recommendations wherever possible.

Click here to view a summary chart of the Collective Impact Approach to Teacher Diversity Collaborative Recommendations.

Grantees will be required to provide in-person updates on progress on a quarterly basis, as part of the ongoing Collective Impact Approach to Teacher Diversity Convenings.

Please note: Grantees will be required to participate in technical assistance workshops, project coaching, and regular meetings of all funded participants, requiring an average of 60 minutes per week from key project staff. Please consider these requirements when developing your proposal.

Q & A Information Sessions
Q and A information sessions will be held on Tuesday, April 4 and Wednesday, April 5 from noon to 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. Please complete this form to register for either session.

Application Materials
Please click here to apply. See opportunity-specific criteria included above.

Please click here to preview a sample application.

Multi-year Project Budget
Please fill out the project budget form and attach it your application using the instructions in the guidance document. You may request a maximum total amount of $300,000 for up to two years.

Operating Budget
Please attach your organization's operating budget.

Audited Financials
Please include your organization's most recent audited financials or 990 if available, or your most recent board approved financial statement.

Board List
Please attach a copy of your organization's board list.

IRS 501(c) Tax Determination Letter (not a tax-exempt certificate)
Required only if your organization has never applied to the Rhode Island Foundation for funding. If an organization is serving as the fiscal agent for this project, please submit the IRS 501(c) tax determination letter for the fiscal agent.

For correspondence and documents generated by a source that is not electronic/digital, like the tax determination letter, create an electronic/digital file by scanning the document and saving the file. It is suggested that you store these documents either on your computer or on a digital/electronic alternative to which you have access, to assist in answering any additional questions related to your request.

To assure that the correct documents are being uploaded, please make note of the folder or location of the files that will be submitted to the Rhode Island Foundation.