Updated April 1 at 8:48pm

RIF renews focus on inspiring community activism

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

After an in-depth review, The Rhode Island Foundation has identified three pillars on which it hopes to continue building the organization: Lead. Transform. Inspire. More

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RIF renews focus on inspiring community activism

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After an in-depth review, The Rhode Island Foundation has identified three pillars on which it hopes to continue building the organization: Lead. Transform. Inspire.

This new branding comes after years of separate revisions of the logo and mission statement, said Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg. The time had simply come for a comprehensive review and rebranding based on perspective from those within the organization and focus groups, he said.

“It’s about getting people to be active participants and not just passive observers,” said Steinberg.

“We think it reflects what we’ve been doing as an organization,” said Steinberg. “Being a trusted leader, transforming Rhode Island and inspiring the community.”

The new branding – which debuted publicly at the foundation’s annual meeting last week – is anchored in the organization’s history, Steinberg said.

“We’re approaching our 100th anniversary in 2016, so being a trusted leader is a reflection that over many decades, we’ve built up and earned the public trust,” Steinberg said.

That leadership isn’t just about history, but about taking a more active leadership role and engaging the community, he said. Last year, for example, the foundation launched three initiatives that reflect stepped-up engagement.

The initiatives include the Rhode Island Innovation Fellowship that’s designed to stimulate solutions by Rhode Islanders to local challenges. Fellows get $100,000 per year for three years, funded by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter, to help bring vision into reality.

“What that did is it put the foundation in a new space. The space of innovation, of more broadly engaging new ideas in the community, ideas that are solutions-oriented,” said Steinberg.

Make It Happen Rhode Island was driven by the urgent need to address economic development and the state’s stubbornly high unemployment rate. The goal is to push forward actionable plans to improve the state economy and supplement efforts in the private sectors.

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