Capital Grants

    Capital funding is often the hardest to raise.

    Champlin grants are focused on ensuring the long-term stability of the charities in our community by supporting their equipment needs and their facilities.  Our grants are not used for programming or general operations.

    This isn’t the flashiest form of philanthropy, but we know it makes a world of difference—all the more reason why we believe this funding is so critical.

    Areas of Focus

    We support a range of sectors serving Rhode Island.

    The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and agencies working in nine different fields:

    Creative expression enables greater understanding and a deeper perspective of our society. Artists give voice, spark imagination, and inspire. Creative communities are economic drivers. Supporting theaters, museums, music groups, and other arts organizations provides access for children and adults to enjoy Rhode Island’s exceptional artists and arts organizations.
    As the nation’s second most densely populated state, open space is a precious, priceless resource in Rhode Island. Preserves and parks contribute mightily to the high quality of life enjoyed in the Ocean State, which is why working with land trusts, conservancies, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, The Nature Conservancy, and others has been a priority for the foundation.
    Our young are a reflection of what our future will be. This is why Champlin maintains a focus on supporting those organizations and schools that provide equitable access to experience and learning—in the classroom, after school, or beyond. Whether it is funding equipment for classroom innovation or grants toward building infrastructure, for preparatory and enrichment programs or independent and charter schools, it all plays a role in Champlin’s grant strategy.
    Every Rhode Islander deserves equal access to quality, affordable healthcare and a strong public health system in our state. This means ensuring that our local hospitals, community health centers, treatment centers, and other nonprofit healthcare providers have the infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment needed to provide quality care and service to all, regardless of the patient’s background or zip code.
    Learning from the past contributes mightily to understanding the present. Rhode Islanders respect and treasure their history—from First Nations, Colonial era, and the Industrial Revolution through the Great Wars. Historic homes, landmark locations, and museums are one reason Rhode Island is a fascinating place to live and visit.
    In the 21st century, libraries have evolved into hubs for education, professional development, and community engagement. In many communities, the local library also serves as an after-school haven and the access point to technology for young and old. With programming that fosters creativity, innovation, and dialogue, libraries across Rhode Island remain a home for knowledge and meaningful connection.
    We see and support the often-invisible heroes in our communities, whose efforts are providing our most vulnerable and marginalized populations with food, shelter, education, job training, and more. We are committed to keeping these essential agencies and organizations strong.
    The Champlin family recognized the importance of investing in the young—the future leaders of industry, community, and government. From Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCAs to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, summer camps, and career and leadership development, supporting the organizations that help them to develop physically and mentally is a cornerstone of the Foundation.
    Sadly, animals have the same ability to suffer as humans. Our support of well-established regional organizations that offer care, adoption services, medical treatment, and more helps ensure that more animals across the state are healthy, well-nourished, and free from distress.
    Grantmaking Guidelines

    Grantmaking at a glance.

    Capital project grants are awarded to Rhode Island-based nonprofit organizations. The Foundation prefers to focus support on those organizations that have had their 501c3 status or have been providing programming through a fiscal sponsor for at least 3 years. Grants are awarded for the purchase of equipment and tangible property, and for construction, renovations, or purchase of real estate. Grants are also awarded on a very limited basis for the reduction of indebtedness exclusively related to building acquisition, construction, and/or building improvements.

    The Champlin Foundation examines several factors when considering requests for support, including but not limited to:

    The stated mission of the applicant is directly aligned with one of Champlin’s areas of focus, and the project or equipment related to the request is appropriate to and reasonably aligned with the mission of the organization.

    The Champlin Foundation is committed to intentionally and strategically advancing racial equity in its grantmaking. We bring a deliberate equity and inclusion lens to grantmaking across our nine areas of focus. This means we consider indicators such as the makeup of the Board and Staff, the demographics of the community served, and how the organization considers its work with and for historically marginalized communities.

    Projects previously supported by Champlin (if applicable) were successfully completed as anticipated, the applicant has prior experience with a capital project or similar project, and the applicant has the staff, board, and/or consultants with the required skills and experience to carry out the project.

    The organization is committed to transparency and open to sharing its management structure, approaches to diversity and inclusion, and its finances as demonstrated program effectiveness. Strong leadership and an engaged, supportive board of directors with no fiscal concerns are considered.

    Where applicable, the project has received support that needs to be matched or there are other requests planned or pending; or, successfully completing the project of purchasing the equipment may reduce overall ongoing operating costs.

    The costs are reasonable and supported by up-to-date estimates, the project is likely to be completed within the projected timeline, and the fundraising, design, site acquisition, permitting, construction, and occupancy plans are reasonable and/or in place.

    Funding Policies

    Since 1991, funds have been awarded to select organizations to provide financial assistance for children who might otherwise not be able to afford summer camp. Camperships have a distinct grant cycle, separate from capital grants. The online portal for Camperships opens on September 1st and closes on October 15th.

    To be eligible for a campership grant, the applicant must be a tax-exempt organization in Rhode Island and be in good standing with the IRS. Camps will only be considered if they are accredited through the American Camping Association (ACA), or another rigorous, independent organization previously approved by Champlin. Any camp operator that has not received a Champlin grant in the past wishing to apply is encouraged to talk with staff prior to submitting a request to review the parameters of the grant program.

    Challenge grants that enable organizations to leverage Champlin funding to secure matching donations are considered on a limited basis at the discretion of the Distribution Committee. Those seeking consideration for a challenge grant must reach out to the Foundation to discuss their plans in October so that staff can determine if the organization should submit a formal request for Committee review. Those that are approved will apply in the first cycle opening on December 15th. Decisions will be made by February 15th and funding will be distributed at the end of the grant year to those that meet the challenge. Please note that only organizations with an existing and ongoing relationship with the Foundation will be considered. All challenge requests must be part of a capital campaign and meet a minimum total project cost of $500,000.

    We will accept applications from organizations using fiscal agents on occasion.  Any applicant hoping to use a fiscal agent is encouraged to contact the Foundation prior to applying to help us understand the status of the organization or project. The following guidelines outline our expectations:

    • There should be a clear nexus between the mission of the fiscal agent and the mission of the applicant
    • The fiscal agent needs to be a previous grantee of the foundation.
    • The applicant should either be pursing 501(c)3 status or have a compelling reason why it is not.
    • It is expected that the fiscal agent is a 501(c) 3 in good standing.

    When completing the application, there are two additional documents applicants will need to provide: the fiscal agent’s most current IRS Determination Letter, as well as a signed Memo of Understanding outlining the agreement between the applicant and the fiscal agent. The fiscal agent will be bound by the terms and conditions of The Champlin Foundation’s standard grant agreement.

    Funding for this program is considered Historic Preservation, thus only those houses of worship of historic and architectural significance are eligible. Total annual funding for houses of worship is capped at $300,000, making the process highly competitive. Applicants are encouraged to apply for grants in the range of $50,000 or less.

    Applications will only be accepted for requests related to exterior repairs or improvements necessary to maintain the historic integrity of the sanctuary building. This means interior repairs or improvements including but not limited to fire safety upgrades, handicap accessibility issues, or other building mechanicals are not the focus of this program. It should also be noted that the Foundation does not fund stained glass windows.

    Houses of Worship can only apply for funding during Cycle Two, which opens on June 1st.

    The Champlin Foundation’s competitive grant program in the area of public secondary education focuses exclusively on classroom innovation in RI public schools. Only one application per school per year will be accepted, and requests will be considered for amounts up to $100,000. Please note that any school with a prior grant that remains open is disqualified from applying until such time that the grant monies have been spent and the final Use of Funds Report has been submitted. The Champlin Foundation alternates between high schools and middle/junior high schools from year to year. In 2024, we will be accepting applications from middle/junior high schools only. Please note that public schools can only apply for funding during Cycle Two which opens on June 1st.

    Applications must be developed around one clearly defined initiative and should address how the item(s) requested will advance it. Proposals containing multiple unrelated components or general needs will not be considered.

    Grant requests are limited to capital items such as classroom equipment, infrastructure, and technology. Funding will be considered in the areas of art, science, English, foreign languages, mathematics, music, computer science, drama, physical education, and vocational instruction, as well as interdisciplinary initiatives. Applicants should be aware that we welcome applications related to advanced placement and honors-level courses.

    A contact person, phone number, and email address must be clearly designated for application communications that may be needed throughout the school year and over the summer break. All requests require a Permission to Proceed form, signed by the superintendent and principal, to be uploaded with your online application. For your convenience, a copy of this form can be found here.

    Please note that independent and charter schools are treated like all other grantees and, as such, can complete the traditional grant application in either cycle.

    While site visits are often part of the review process, they are not an indicator that a grant request will be funded or denied. Not all applicants receive a site visit. If it is determined that a site visit is desirable, please note:

    • Site visits typically last no more than one hour.
    • Guidance on parking is greatly appreciated. If parking is an issue we would appreciate having spaces set aside whenever possible.
    • Please provide only one copy of any handouts as all materials received are uploaded into the online portal.
    • We appreciate the desire to offer a meal or a gift but it is not appropriate for us to accept them, regardless of size.
    • It is most helpful if only those represented most directly involved with the application participate because they are best equipped to answer questions.
    • If the project represents a major undertaking for the organization we suggest having at least one or two board members in attendance if possible.
    • Advocacy Groups
    • Capital Campaign Feasibility Studies
    • Daycare Centers, Preschools & Elementary Schools
    • Dog Parks
    • Endowments
    • Grants to Individuals
    • Housing Authorities, Permanent Housing, Assisted Living Facilities, and Group Homes
    • New Construction or Expansion of Transitional Housing
    • Master Plans & Studies
    • Memorials & Statues
    • Municipal Animal Shelters, Fire and/or Police Departments, and Playgrounds
    • Municipal Departments
    • Municipal Parks (however, a separate 501c3 “Friends” organization may apply)
    • Municipal Senior Centers
    • Operating Expenses
    • Programming Expenses
    • Signage
    • Software Licenses
    • Solar Panels & Windmills
    • Stained Glass Windows
    • Volunteer Fire/Rescue or Ambulance Companies
    • Grantmaking Organizations