We all should take the time to thank the Rhode Island Foundation for its good work. The state’s largest foundation recently announced that it made a record $31 million in grants in 2013, benefitting more than 1,300 nonprofits.
But the community’s response should be much more than a handshake and a slap on the back.
Foundation President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg says that a very important part of the nonprofit’s mission is to show how effective philanthropy can be and thereby inspire more people to invest in their communities as well.
Mr. Steinberg and company have been quite successful in showing tangible results for their efforts. The Make It Happen Rhode Island initiative inspired the private sector to take charge of the state’s economic destiny, and the foundation added funding in support of 19 initiatives. The Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships, privately funded by Letitia and John Carter, already has committed more than $1 million for four fellows. One of them is driving the bus on the proposed Providence Design Forward accelerator mentioned above, which has the potential to make Rhode Island a national leader in commercial design.
The Rhode Island Foundation’s call to philanthropic engagement is one the entire state should hear and respond to. •