State Profile – Rhode Island

Rhode Island

About This Profile

Across the United States, the charitable sector generates incredible impact on both communities and economies. This profile is a snapshot of major statistics about Rhode Island’s charitable community. It’s designed to give you a broad sense of the scale and diversity of nonprofits, foundations, and charities across the state. A downloadable PDF version is available above.


Number of Rhode Island Nonprofit Organizations

  • All nonprofit organizations: 6,617
  • 501(c)(3) Public Charities (includes some religious organizations): 3,434
  • 501(c)(3) Private and Public Foundations: 998
  • Other 501(c) Nonprofit Organizations*: 2,185

* includes civic leagues, chamber of commerce, veterans organizations, etc


Economic Impact of the Rhode Island Nonprofit Sector

  • Employs 68,348 – over 16.5% of the state’s workforce
  • Generates over $13 billion in annual revenues
  • Holds assets of $31.7 billion
  • Rhode Island foundations annually give over $386 million
  • Rhode Islanders give over $469.2 million to charity each year, representing 2.2 percent of household income

Public Charities and Foundations Benefit Rhode Island Communities

Provide direct services to youth
The local Girl Scouts council provides girls in K-12 with a wide variety of leadership opportunities. In addition to leadership, other areas of focus include financial literacy, STEM skills, health and wellness, and environmental awareness. In 2020, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England provided innovative programs and life changing experiences to over 4,800 girls in grades K-12 in partnership with committed assistance of over 2,500 adult volunteers.

Deliver vital community services
The Rhode Island Community Foodbank serves 54,000 Rhode Islanders each month. Two-thirds of all families served include either a child under 18 or a senior citizen. Last year, Rhode Island Community Foodbank distributed 15.1 million pounds of food.

Contribute to the health of our communities
The Rhode Island chapter of the March of Dimes works to help the 1 in 10 babies born prematurely in the state through education and intervention with moms-to-be and their families. Through partnerships and collaborations between hospitals, health departments and community organizations, the program Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait provides education for pregnant patients, health care providers and the greater community to understand the problem of preterm birth and what measures can be taken to reduce the risks of it occurring.

Advance solutions for challenges facing society
Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island (GCRI) seeks to build a better Rhode Island by growing the breadth, effectiveness and impact of philanthropy in the Ocean State. GCRI provides local support and programming, as well as national connections and resources.



Note: The “nonprofit sector” encompasses organizations that are defined as tax-exempt under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. This includes both public charities and private foundations [501(c)(3)] and other nonprofits such as civic league organizations [501(c)(4)]. Exceptions are noted when relevant.


Employment Information
Best estimate based on available data from the following sources:

Number of nonprofit employees: The 2019 nonprofit employment report, Lester M. Salamon and Chelsea L. Newhouse, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Nonprofit Employment Bulletin #47, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2019 {Data is 2016, page 3}

Number of Nonprofits
Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, State Summary reports {Data are 2013}

Asset and Revenues
Urban Institute, National Center for Charitable Statistics, “Registered Nonprofit Organizations by State (BMF 12/2015)” {Data are 2015}

Foundation Giving
The Foundation Center, FC Stats: “Foundation Stats: Total Grantmaking Foundations” {Data are 2015}

Individual Giving
How America Gives, 2014. The Chronicle of Philanthropy. {Data are 2012}.

Nonprofit Examples:
Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England: and
Rhode Island Community Foodbank:
March of Dimes:
Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island:

As of August 2021


Resource Types: Fact Sheet