PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Foundation awarded more than $30.4 million to local initiatives in 2012, a record year of giving according to the organization’s newly released report.
The amount of grant money donated in 2012 rose nearly 9 percent from 2011’s donation of $28 million, making 2012 the foundation’s most charitable year since its founding 97 years ago.
Of the $30.4 million grant total, $12.3 million was awarded in discretionary grants by the foundation’s staff and directors, including: $1.8 million from the Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island to build a stronger system of primary health care, several educational grants, support for the winners of the Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship, inaugural grants from the Black Philanthropy Initiative, funds to the Program for Animal Welfare and more than $730,000 to provide assistance and basic human services to Rhode Islanders most in need.
Individual donor directed and corporate-advised grants totaled $17.3 million in 2012, compared with $15.8 million in 2011.
According to its report, the foundation also raised more than $38 million in new gifts from individual and corporate donors in 2012, the organization’s third largest year of fundraising.
“We thank our generous donors for working with us to address Rhode Island’s challenges and opportunities,” Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg said in prepared remarks. “Their partnership is the reason 2012 was a record-breaking year in giving for the foundation. We are inspired by their commitment to Rhode Island and grateful for their trust in the foundation.”
The Rhode Island Foundation had a record high $670 million in assets at the end of 2012, a 10.7 percent increase from the $605 million the organization had at the end of 2011.
In 2012, the Rhode Island Foundation also launched the Civic Leadership Fund, which allows the organization to “go beyond traditional grant making to provide leadership and a forum for dialogue on critical community issues,” according to the foundation release. In its inaugural year, the fund raised $173,604 in immediate-use funds, which helped support Make It Happen Rhode Island, among other initiatives.