Jan 3, 2024

Dear Friends,

Every day, in every community across our state, tens of thousands of personnel and generous volunteers are working in service of the needs of Rhode Islanders. From distributing food and supporting those with mental illness, to providing workforce training, creating thought-provoking artistry, and nurturing well-being, these people and the organizations they support continue to be on the front lines, committed to aiding in ways big and small in the communities who need it most.

Here at The Champlin Foundation, our purpose is to be of service to those organizations and help them achieve their goals, as well as our shared goal of ensuring a healthy, safe, and vibrant environment for all Rhode Islanders. As we reflect on 2023, we also look ahead to how we can advance our work to assist those who do good, do more.

Given the success of our first organizational capacity building effort, which was centered on facilities planning for nonprofits, we expect to offer more of this programming in 2024 for leaders to gain valuable insight on effective facilities planning and construction project management. Anthony Faccenda, our new Grants and Education Manager—a position we created specifically to expand our capacity-building efforts—is starting this week and will coordinate this work. In addition to being the primary contact for applicants in the Education, Healthcare, Historic Preservation & Heritage, and Youth Services areas of focus, his valuable experience working within a number of Rhode Island agencies, including several years with AIDS Project Rhode Island, will enhance our ability to deliver this programming.

While we are thrilled to welcome Anthony to our team, we said a bittersweet goodbye in November to the longtime Director of Grant Administration, Tim Gorham. Tim retired after 24 years with the Foundation, and we are grateful for his service. We are likewise grateful to outgoing Distribution Committee member Linda Newton, who brought such an important and valuable perspective to the Foundation’s work. In her place, we welcomed to the Committee Marie Ghazal, the retired CEO of the Rhode Island Free Clinic. Our Committee also elected a new slate of officers: Dione Kenyon as Chair, Judge Edward Clifton as Vice Chair, and Dr. Jose Polanco as Secretary.

In the year ahead, it will be easier to connect with Champlin as we continue to make our processes more inclusive and responsive. Applicants for our twice-a-year grant cycles now have the ability to copy a past application so answers are pre-populated as a helpful starting point. We are also in the process of testing a translation option for the online grant application portal. We are listening for other ways we can improve. In April, we will again conduct a Grantee Perception Study with the Center for Effective Philanthropy. This candid and constructive feedback builds on a survey done in 2019 and helps inform our approach. Grantees from 2022 should be on the lookout for more information on this survey in the early spring.

As we step into this new year, we do so at Champlin with excitement for the new opportunities to learn and to be of service. We remain inspired and energized by the many exceptional people and organizations working day in and day out across Rhode Island to lift up, to inspire, to teach, and to heal.

With deep appreciation for all you do, and with hope for a peaceful year.

Nina Stack
Executive Director

Look for The Champlin Foundation 2023 Annual Report on our website this spring. While you are there, subscribe to receive occasional emails with news and updates from the Foundation.