Jeff Sullivan Hope Fund

"We can and will get through this (the pandemic), but to do so will take a lot of resources. My philosophy in giving was to help build a sense of resiliency. Hope has been my motto since I’ve been in Rhode Island.”

Jeff Sullivan

A relative newcomer to Rhode Island, Jeff Sullivan became a donor to the Foundation through our COVID-19 Response Fund, established in early March to meet emerging needs in Rhode Island communities due to the pandemic, and through our weR1 Rhode Island Fund, established to provide direct assistance to Rhode Islanders who did not qualify for emergency support due to their immigration status.

He explains, “We can and will get through this (the pandemic), but to do so will take a lot of resources. It’s also why he included the word hope in the name of this donor advised fund he created to allow him to further support nonprofits he cares about.

Jeff, who has lived in New England all his life, earned an undergraduate degree in math at the University of New Hampshire. Noting there was no degree in computer science at the time, he took as many courses as possible. “In those days you programmed on punch cards. We’ve come a long way,” he says.

While working as a computer programmer, he earned a master’s degree in computer science at Rivier College (now University) in Nashua, NH. This led to a career with Digital Equipment Corporation, which was acquired by Compaq, which in turn was taken over by Intel. “I worked with the same people in three different companies,” Jeff states. He retired from Intel in 2015 as a senior software engineer.

Of his move to Rhode Island, Jeff says, “I fell in love with Providence and with the state, and got involved with a number of nonprofits by volunteering.” His many interests include the arts, tree planting, preserving open space, farm to table initiatives, and gleaning.

“The Foundation funds most of the things I care about. I like that it funds interesting, unique projects and smaller, local organizations. There are a lot of people who have great ideas, but do not have the means to carry them out. I want to be able to help,” Jeff acknowledges.