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CIVIC LEADERSHIP STEPPING ENGAGING IN

FORWARD,

CIVIL DIALOGUE

& PRODUCTIVE DEBATE, LEARNING FROM

EACH OTHER, EXERCISING YOUR

VOICE,

CATALYZING CHANGE.

rifoundation.org

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The Rhode Island Foundation’s Civic Leadership Fund, established just over five years ago, is an annual fund set up for immediate use. The fund allows us to access resources in real time, to seize fresh opportunities, meet emerging challenges, continue our work as a connector and a convener, and incubate ideas that have the potential to grow into solutions. The Civic Leadership Fund has inspired our work in many ways. Read on for proof.

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To work with us through the Civic Leadership Fund, please contact:

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James S. Sanzi, J.D. Vice President of Development (401) 427-4025 jsanzi@rifoundation.org Learn more at rifoundation.org/CLF Contribute online at rifoundation.org/SupportCLF

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INSPIRING PHILANTHROPY is good to me and I need to give back. “If LIifedon’t do it and you don’t do it,

who will? See what needs to be done

and do it. Act by example – and don’t be shy. Talk about giving, be proud of being a philanthropist.” – Bhikhaji Maneckji

Civic Leadership Fund donor at the Fund-sponsored Community Conversations 1

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EDUCATIONAL SUCCESS Much of our work in Educational Success centers on providing access to quality education for all Rhode Island youth, as we want all students to graduate from high school on time, college and career ready. We’re working with our many partners to tackle the achievement gap and close the disparities that exist between white and minority students. One such effort is an intensive, 18-month English as a Second Language Instruction and Dual Language Program that is sending 60 public school teachers back to college to earn certifications in these areas. Teachers from the five Rhode Island school districts with the most English Learner students – Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket – are benefitting from our grants to Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. It’s a great investment for the future of our state. To further help assure quality education for all students, the Foundation supported the analysis and establishment of a statewide school funding formula. Previously the only state without such a funding formula, Rhode Island now has a system that uses empirical evidence to more equitably distribute access to high-quality programs, services, and facilities across the state. Aid is allocated based on student enrollment, the level of student poverty, and the wealth of the community. While conversations continue around the “fairness” of the funding formula, we believe its intention to close student achievement gaps is critical to Rhode Island’s future.

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HEALTHY LIVES We’ve consistently engaged in work that inspires public system reform. For example, we convened a coalition of health care leaders to consider the way health care is paid for. The group’s recommendations are often cited by policymakers and have inspired the Governor’s Working Group for Healthcare Innovation. Developing a payment model that rewards patient-centric care delivery and expanding incentives for participating in a statewide health information exchange were among the recommendations that a broad coalition of insurers, hospitals, and academics – convened by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Rhode Island Foundation President & CEO Neil Steinberg – asked state policymakers to consider adopting. Since the coalition’s work, the Governor established a 41-member Governor’s Working Group for Healthcare Innovation, of which Neil Steinberg was a member. The Working Group, with input from providers, advocates, and stakeholders, issued four recommendations: 1. Create an Office of Health Policy to set statewide health policy goals and oversee effective implementation. 2. Hold the system accountable for cost and quality and increase transparency through a spending target. 3. Expand the state’s healthcare analytic capabilities to drive improved quality at sustainable costs. 4. Align policies around alternative payment models, population health, health information technology, and other priorities. While these recommendations are at various stages of implementation, we realize that healthcare reform is a major undertaking and will take time to achieve. We are encouraged by progress to date and believe that our combined efforts will result in an improved healthcare system for all Rhode Islanders. 4

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ECONOMIC SECURITY Our work in Economic Security continues to be inspired by Make It Happen RI, the convening of 300+ influential Rhode Islanders who gathered a few years ago to chart a new course for economic development in our state. For example, we recently hired Next Street to do an assessment of the small business ecosystem in our state and we’ve re-launched the statewide Buy Local RI campaign. We could only dream when we were planning Make It Happen RI about the impact the convening might have. Now, we see a new level of activity and an understanding that economic development is about building an ecosystem where activity, investment, and talent come together so that businesses can start, flourish, and grow. Together, we’re making progress. Rhode Island now has a statewide economic development plan, due in part to a Foundation-commissioned report by the Brookings Institution. We see new partnerships, new leadership emerging, and exciting initiatives that have taken root. We see efforts to improve the workforce development system to effectively prepare Rhode Islanders for jobs today…and tomorrow. And we see efforts, including the Buy Local RI campaign, to build public confidence in our state. Yet the work has just begun. We need to grow what works and continue to experiment. And we need to make sure that the entire community is included in these efforts. The Foundation is committed to doing what we can to advance a strong Rhode Island economy, so that all Rhode Islanders can prosper. 6

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IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE, MEETING IMMEDIATE NEED

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Improving quality of life through centennial community grants in all 39 Rhode Island cities and towns. Challenging local corporations in efforts to streamline state government. Supporting proven programs in their work to improve Providence’s Kennedy Plaza.

O Ja st

As one of our centennial gifts to Rhode Island, in 2016 we funded projects that brought life to Rhode Island’s remarkable communities. Our Centennial Community Grants supported exciting community-building activities in each of Rhode Island’s 39 cities and towns. Grants totaling $500,000 were made to nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, and community agencies to build bikes lanes, design walking tours, install historical markers and monuments, and more. Due to the success of the program, we brought it back in 2017 and funded an additional 30 community-building projects throughout the state that will create community gardens, fund a pop-up library, revitalize a playground, and so much more.

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In other work to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders, the Foundation issued a $50,000 challenge grant to encourage private support for the state’s efforts to streamline state government and eliminate waste. This challenge was generously met by Amica, Corning, Groov-Pin, Hope Global, TACO, Taylor Box, and Toray Plastics. We are thrilled with the response by these corporate partners and are encouraged by the state’s early work. With this funding and through the Governor’s Lean Government Initiative, state employees are learning to improve procedures and solve problems using a proven methodology aimed at reducing waste, shortening processing times, and ultimately saving money. On the first anniversary of the Initiative, Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit stated, “We’ve sharpened our focus, improved our relationship with customers, streamlined practices, and improved employee morale.”

We also are proud of efforts to improve security downtown and to improve the lives of those in need who find refuge in Kennedy Plaza. With co-funding from the Grace K. and Wesley S. Alpert Foundation and many generous downtown neighbors, we invested $355,000 as follows: • Amos House, $150,000, to put more than 250 people to work through its A Hand Up program. The grant also enabled the program, which puts men and women who panhandle to work cleaning roadways and vacant lots throughout Providence, to provide social services to as many as 300 people. • Crossroads RI, $125,000, to add two full-time workers dedicated to doing outreach downtown. The street team engages clients at the places and times where they congregate, assesses their needs, and facilitates referrals to appropriate services. • The Providence Center, $80,000, to embed a second, full-time clinician with the Providence Police Department. The clinicians divert people from the criminal justice system to substance abuse and mental health treatment and community-based services. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have been meeting the needs of Rhode Island’s diverse communities for 100 years. We are able to provide immediate assistance where others cannot – and that is what we have decided to do here. 9

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We salute you for your leadership and thank you for all you do for Rhode Island. James S. Sanzi, J.D. Vice President of Development (401) 427-4025 jsanzi@rifoundation.org Learn more at rifoundation.org/CLF Contribute online at rifoundation.org/SupportCLF

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Civic Leadership at Rhode Island Foundation  

The Civic Leadership Fund has inspired our work in many ways. Read on for proof.

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