Media release

Rhode Island Foundation, McKee administration award $5.4 million in COVID-19 aid to more than 160 nonprofits

Funding from the McKee administration through the federal CARES Act comes as nonprofits continue to cope with lower revenue and high demand for services amid the pandemic

The Rhode Island Foundation today announced it has awarded $5.4 million in federal CARES Act funding for COVID-19 relief to more than 160 nonprofits across the state. The grants cover the cost of housing, behavioral health services, health care, job training, food pantries and child care among other uses.

“We are getting these grants to the nonprofits that are doing the boots-on-the-ground work that Rhode Islanders have been depending on since the pandemic began. This funding will keep these essential partners going as they continue to respond to the needs of their communities."

- Neil D. Steinberg, Foundation president and CEO

He continued, "We are appreciative of the Governor, legislative leaders and the state’s Congressional delegation for their unfailing dedication to providing the resources that support Rhode Island's safety net in times of crisis."

The Rhode Island Nonprofit Support Fund II was established jointly by Governor Dan McKee, through the Rhode Island Pandemic Recovery Office; and the Foundation last month. The grants average more than $32,000 and target services or direct assistance that respond to the COVID-19 pandemic impact on vulnerable individuals or communities.

“I am pleased to see these grants go to nonprofits that serve their communities in a number of ways. I know this funding is invaluable to these organizations that have overcome incredible challenges throughout this pandemic, and I’m grateful that they continue to step up to the plate for Rhode Islanders. I thank the Rhode Island Foundation for partnering with my administration to get these funds into the hands of our nonprofit community quickly.”

- Governor Dan McKee

Operation Stand Down in Johnston, the Housing Hotline in Newport, the Domestic Resource Center of South County in South Kingstown, Esperanza- Hope in Providence, Roots2Empower in Pawtucket and Smithfield Senior Services are among the nonprofits receiving funding. The full list of grant recipients is posted at

The $5.4 million in grants includes an additional $900,000 in funding that became available after the Foundation began taking applications November 30.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. 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. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.