COVID-19 Response Fund

Working together during difficult times.

United Way of Rhode Island and The Rhode Island Foundation announce the co-creation of the Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Fund, which has already raised nearly $5 million.

The Fund will support local nonprofits with direct service programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Make a gift today to support the urgent work of nonprofits across our state.


Supporting the nonprofit community.

United Way, Amgen, and the CVS Health Foundation have each contributed lead gifts, with additional gifts from: Amica, Bank of America, BankNewport, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Brown University, Centreville Bank, Dimeo Construction Company, FM Global, Hasbro, Inc., National Grid, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Providence Mutual, Schneider Electric, StrategicPoint Investment Advisors, TD Charitable Foundation, Textron Charitable Trust, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Verizon, Washington Trust, Webster Bank and Wells Fargo.

The toll of this crisis on the state’s nonprofit community is still unknown –  but, we do know it’s substantial and continues to expand. Make donations directly to United Way or the Rhode Island Foundation. You can also make gifts by check, through United Way’s MyFund, or by texting RICOVID19 to 51555.

United Way, there in times of crisis.

Fires, floods, and recessions – over the past 94-years, United Way of Rhode Island has helped communities across the state through some very difficult times. When an emergency hits, we roll up our sleeves and get to work; partnering with businesses, donors and volunteers, state agencies, and nonprofits allows us to meet the most urgent needs of the community.

This time will be no different – by uniting, we will overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

The role of 211.

Our 211 call specialists are assisting the Rhode Island Department of Health with call center support. In the first week of the crisis, we’ve spoken with more than 2,000 Rhode Islanders; helping families find meals, offering information on temporary unemployment benefits, and connecting people with utility assistance resources.

The state’s response to COVID-19 is rapidly developing; our 211 team is in constant contact with multiple state agencies and is prepared to help the growing number of callers stay up-to-date with real-time information.

What we’re hearing.

We’ve polled the nonprofit community – the news is sobering. We’re hearing about major disruptions in operations and services, an urgent need for financial assistance and supplies, and increasing anxiety about the days ahead. This urgent need includes:

  • Grocery gift cards and meals for families with low-income and limited food supplies.
  • Internet access, smart devices, laptops, and technical support to enable remote work.
  • Cleaning supplies, sanitizers, and gloves and masks for frontline, direct service employees.
  • Diapers, basic medical supplies, and pet food for family service organizations.
  • Utility relief and rental assistance to support displaced workers.

Make a donation to the COVID-19 Response Fund at United Way to support the urgent needs of local nonprofit agencies.


Note: United Way policy states that funds cannot be distributed to individuals. United Way will work with the Rhode Island Foundation to designate funds to local, direct-service agencies who demonstrate need as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

Questions? Philanthropic and business partners, please contact Brooke Havens, EVP, Chief Development Officer, at (401) 444-0625. Nonprofits partners, please contact Larry Warner, Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives, at (401) 444-0660.