The Rhode Island Foundation. What Can It Do For Yor?

As a family planner, I try to stay on top of any and all resources which might assist my clients in meeting their goals. I recently met with a representative of the Rhode Island Foundation which is a non-profit foundation.

The stated objective of the foundation is “to sustain and strengthen the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders” which of course is a noble goal. When the representative called, my first reaction was: “My clients are not rich so what can this foundation do for my clients?” I thought that the primary purpose of the foundation was to provide annual grants to Rhode Island entities from the foundation’s endowment.

At our meeting I quickly learned that I knew little about the work of the foundation and that it could be useful for many of my clients. Here is a short summary of some benefits of involving the foundation in your planning:

  • Cost-free consultations, information and resources regarding charitable planning and giving. (Not legal or tax advice but assisting that advice by your attorney)
  • Accepting and managing endowments for any amount in excess of $10,000
  • Receiving gifts in any amount to add to one of their 800+ funds
  • Reasonable costs (compared to other managing entities)
  • Assisting donors in making very specific donations, gifts or bequests, following through with the donor’s desires and supporting the gift
  • Supporting a “donor-advised fund” where you take an active role in selecting grantees each year (which can also be controlled by your children in the future)
  • Providing income to you or to another for your lifetime through an annuity or a charitable trust

The donor can chose the charity and can be very specific regarding the use of funds by the designated charity. You can honor or memorialize someone forever. The foundation can help you find the right charity to meet your goals. For example, you could establish a scholarship fund in someone’s name. The charity can be in another state as well as in Rhode Island.

For local clients, The Newport County Fund is a permanent endowment of the Foundation and you can direct the use of your endowment to the needs of Newport County. The Maher Center could be designated as a beneficiary, for example.


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