Frequently Asked Questions

What does WFRI do?
Advocacy on issues that impact women and girls in Rhode Island, research on the status of women and girls in Rhode Island, leadership training in running for office and advocating for change, salary negotiation workshops, feminist panel discussions, and grantmaking. Check out our latest series of training opportunities and events

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

How does WFRI choose its advocacy priorities?
Our policy and advocacy committee, along with our Board of Directors, guides our work on issues that impact women and girls in Rhode Island. To learn about our current advocacy priorities, please visit our advocacy page. We encourage interested volunteers to go to visit our get involved page.

What is the Women's Policy Institute?
In addition to educating the public about issues that impact women and families, the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island engages in training women and girls in civic engagement. Our Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) is the second of its kind in the nation. WPI focuses on cultivating women’s skills to shape policy-making, increasing the number of women leaders in R.I. who can influence legislation to impact women and families positively.

Does WFRI support any candidates running for office?
No. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we are non-partisan and as such, do not endorse or campaign against any candidates running for office.

Is WFRI a direct service organization?
No. We do not offer any direct services like loans, counseling, programming for girls, etc. The work we do focuses on research, advocacy, leadership training, and grantmaking. If you need a referral, we recommend you dial 211 for the United Way’s Helpline. This can refer you to thousands of services throughout Rhode Island to address your particular issue/need.

Where does the money for grants come from?
Each year, WFRI raises money to support our mission and vision. Interest from an endowment at the Rhode Island Foundation provides 60% of our organizational funding, and the rest of our budget is provided by donations, sponsorships, and event revenue. Our grantmaking budget is determined each year based on the funds we have available.

How can my organization get a grant?
Grant guidelines are available on our website. The grant cycle typically runs from January to mid-March each year, with grant disbursements made in the fall.

If I give money to WFRI, is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes! Consider making a monthly donation and/or a planned gift to have the most impact.

What does my donation fund?
Your donation supports our Women’s Policy Institute, advocacy work, research, and programs. Because of our endowment at the Rhode Island Foundation, 100% of your gift goes towards our mission.

Can I donate online?
Yes! Check out the many online options for giving, including via credit card, Bitcoin, RoundUp, and AmazonSmile. We also have information on including WFRI in your planned gifts on the website.

Who else funds WFRI?
We are funded by individual donors, corporate partners, foundation grants, and interest from our endowment. Check out our current sponsorship opportunities.

In addition to donating money, how can I get involved?
Visit thvolunteer opportunities section of our website to get involved or email Ellie Brown at ebrown@wfri.org.