Our Story

Launched in the 1970’s

WFRI AdvocacyWhat We Do

Women's Fund of Rhode Island invests in women and girls through research, advocacy, grant making and strategic partnerships designed to advance gender equity through systemic change. Our work lays the foundation for a more equitable Rhode Island and has made our state a national leader in public policies that are good for women and families.

In 2017, we returned to our roots as a grant source for local programs that positively impact the lives of women and girls, empowering people to make real changes in the world around them.

Our Story

The Ms. Foundation for Women was the first national women’s fund, launched in the 1970’s. Today, hundreds of women’s funds operate throughout the United States and in countries around the world. Their shared purpose is to improve the lives of women and girls. What do they accomplish? A lot, including:

  • Adding millions of dollars each year to the pool of grant money available for the needs of women and girls.
  • Pushing for political change, using fresh, local and important data on the status of women and girls on key indicators such as health, economic stability, leadership and other measures.
  • Developing innovative solutions to address serious social needs.
  • Building a community of shared purpose.
  • Celebrating women by inspiring positive, hopeful views of the future while creating and safeguarding the well-being and potential of women and girls.

In 2001, the Rhode Island Foundation, together with founder Simone Joyaux, established a fund specifically for women and girls in Rhode Island. In 2005, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island became an independent charitable organization and has been working to create a more equitable state ever since.