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Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund Grants

The application for this program is currently closed

The Black Philanthropy Initiative was established as a field of interest fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. Recognizing the need to promote economic stability, job training, and financial literacy among not only historically underserved African American populations in Rhode Island, but also more recent African immigrants and refugees, in 2007 the fund was established to advance equity and social justice for our Black and African American communities. Bannister House was a nursing home for retired African American domestic workers located in Providence. When Bannister House was sold, the former board contributed the proceeds to the Black Philanthropy Initiative, and in 2016 the fund was renamed the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund. The fund will continue to honor the original focus of Bannister House and the Black Philanthropy Initiative by supporting the most pressing needs of Rhode Island's Black community.

The fund gives priority to equity, education, social justice, and economic empowerment of the Black community in three core areas:

  1. Grants to community-based organizations that strive to uplift low-income Black Rhode Islanders. The programs should target financial stability, economic empowerment, and structural inequities. Programs can also support and promote the history and achievements of Blacks in Rhode Island and preserve the culture of the Black community. Priority will be given to organizations that primarily serve the Black community and are Black led.
  2. Grants to Black, community-based organizations that provide youth development and mentoring opportunities to Black youth. The programs should target educational success, avoidance of risk behaviors, and empowerment to make positive decisions and achieve higher aspirations. Youth should be supported in growth and engagement in productive interpersonal relationships to positively impact the Black community. Priority will be given to organizations that primarily serve the Black community and are Black led.
  3. Scholarship assistance for Black students who are pursuing or advancing a career in healthcare. For more information or to apply for this scholarship, please visit the foundation's scholarship directory.

Application deadline

September 8, 2023

To apply

A complete application package includes:

  • Completed application form, submitted through our online system;
  • Completed budget form, also submitted through our online system;
  • A proposal narrative, found within the application;
  • A current list of the applying organization's board of directors attached to the application;
  • A scope of work (this applies only to organizations requesting funding for consultant services).

Applications are available six weeks prior to the deadline. Requests for up to $15,000 will be considered.

To complete an application that is already in progress, and to submit, please click here.