Media release

RI Foundation offering $10,000 grants for community projects

Local libraries, schools, municipal agencies and community-based organizations have until March 12 to apply

The Rhode Island Foundation is offering local libraries, schools, municipal agencies and nonprofit groups grants of up to $10,000 to fund proposals that bring people together as a community. March 12 is the deadline to apply.

"We are looking for proposals that will enhance the quality of life, form relationships and increase connections. Our goal is to make unique and important things happen that will enliven neighborhoods and build bonds that last," said Jenny Pereira, vice president of grants and community investments. “We also will consider factors like whether proposals will serve and are led by historically marginalized communities.”

Since launching the Community Grants program in 2016, the Foundation has awarded $1.9 million to hundreds of projects across Rhode Island. Previous grants have supported community gardens, playgrounds, community events, walking tours, artistic performances and public art.

Past recipients include Conanicut Island Land Trust in Jamestown, which received $5,000 to add additional raised gardening beds at Godena Farm that are earmarked for recent immigrants to the United States; the Little Compton Community Center, which received $10,000 to support free events; the Pontiac Village Association in Warwick, which received $8,405 to improve and expand the playground located at Pontiac Village Park; and the town of Narragansett, which received $10,000 to restore the 23-foot-tall wooden sculpture of a Native American in Sprague Park.

Proposals should spark community engagement at the local level, be easily accessible, create new or enhance existing partnerships, be relevant to the particular community, promote the role of shared public spaces as local anchors, be doable and demonstrate a meaningful impact. Priority will be given to proposals that include community support such as matching grants, the participation of volunteers and donated space or other forms of in-kind contributions.

While both new initiatives and enhancements to existing projects are eligible, the grants are intended to support one-time costs and expenses. Applicants will not be eligible for renewed funding for the same project in future years. Capital campaigns, endowments, for-profit entities, individuals, political groups and lobbying efforts are not eligible.

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. Get more information about applying for a Community Grant.