About Serve Rhode Island

Rhode Island's Volunteer Center and State Commission for National and Community Service

ServeRhode Island is the state’s center for volunteerism and national service.  The mission of SRI is to transform the lives of Rhode Islanders by increasing the number of people engaged in volunteer and service activities in their communities.

1.  AmeriCorps:

SRI administers the federally funded AmeriCorps program for the state.  SRI is the primary grant recipient of the federal AmeriCorps funds, which are then allocated to capable nonprofits who apply to hosting the AmeriCorps programs, awarded through a competitive process. Presently, SRI administers 16 AmeriCorps grants totaling $4 million ($2.1million federal and $1.9 million local) to 14 RI nonprofit agencies, providing a total of 333 AmeriCorps members to serve in:

31 kindergarten through 12th grade schools

47 community based agencies

24 Head Start/Early Childhood Education Sites and

12 colleges and universities

Since1994, SRI has secured 46 million dollars in federal funds for RI nonprofits,providing 4,044 AmeriCorps members who have given 4.7 million hours of service for hundreds of nonprofit educational and community development programs.

2.  Volunteer Services:

SRI’s volunteer center connects thousands of volunteers with opportunities to serve in hundreds of nonprofits and several urban schools annually.  SRI has 4,012 volunteers registered on its new online portal HandsOn Connect.Through June 1, 498 active connections were made between volunteers and the 490 volunteer opportunities posted by the 156 organizations that partner with SRI. 

 SRI also assists many volunteers who call or walk into its offices in SouthProvidence.  SRI connects volunteer groups from corporations, colleges, and the faith community, to service projects working in local schools and cleaning up the environment.          

 3.  SRI Staff & Board:

SRI currently has 6 full-time staff and 4 AmeriCorps VISTA members working out of our office in South Providence.  The SRI Board of Directors is appointed by theGovernor in accordance with federal and state law, and includes up to 25members representing business, labor, education, government and the community.  

4.  Budget/Finances:

ServeRhode Island’s current annual budget is $821,525.  Sources of funding includes:

31.6% - Federal grants:  $1259,264

11.5%  -State of RI grants: $94,500

40.3% - Private: foundations, corporations,fees, donations: $330,757

11.8%  -In-Kind (non-cash) donations: $97,004

5.  Community Impact:

  a. AmeriCorps helping children and youth:

 In the past year, SRI’s AmeriCorps programs engaged 270 AmeriCorps volunteers to support 100 community agencies through 262,505 hours of service.Their service resulted in the following positive impacts on the RI community:

·5,466 high school students were assisted withCollege Access services;

·2,581 K-12 students were tutored and assisted academically in schools;

·2,808 Head Start children were served;

·2,575 volunteers were mobilized who contributed35,629 hours of service; a dollar value of $788,826.

The direct economic benefit to the RI economy is estimated to be


 b. Growing Volunteerism:

 SRI has effectively advanced volunteerism in Rhode Island in the past few years, resulting in growth in the number of volunteers and improvement in RI’s national volunteerism ranking.  According to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report released in December 2012:

·the number of volunteers in Rhode Island grew over the past five years by 11,404 to a total of 213,126 in 2011 

·Rhode Island’s 5.7% increase in volunteers was ahead of the national growth rate of 5% and best among New England states, all of which saw declines in their numbers, according to the report. 

One in four (25.1%) Rhode Islanders volunteer; contributing 21.4 million hours of service annually and a labor value of $533.6 million.  While Rhode Island ranks fortieth (40) in the country in our overall volunteer rate, the state ranks tenth (10) for volunteer retention, meaning those who do volunteer stay committed to service. All RhodeIslanders can be inspired by our engaged teenagers (ages 16-19) who are outpacing adults in volunteerism, ranking of fourteenth (14) in the nation at a rate of 33%. 

c. More Volunteers in Schools: 

During the spring of 2012 SRI launched a pilot volunteer recruitment and placement effort at Roger Williams Middle School in Providence. A total of 24volunteers were placed. In the current 2012-2013 school year SRI has expanded the program at Roger Williams Middle School and launched an in-school program at Slater Junior High School in Pawtucket.

d. Service Projects in Schools and Nonprofits:

 The SRI “Getting Things Done 2013” initiative launched in January 2013has paired interested volunteer teams from dozens of RI corporations,faith-based and other community groups to complete:

·51 projects engaging 1,626 volunteers who contributed 7,226 hours of service (through August). 

These projects have ranged from cleaning, painting and repairingbuildings and facilities of nonprofit organizations and schools to landscaping and environmental stewardship work.Volunteer teams contribute to the costs of supplies and materials for these projects. 

·Over the past 4 years, SRI has engaged 7,205volunteers who contributed 27,475 hours for service projects in schools and nonprofits (not including disaster recovery work). The economic benefit of their work is $608,296

e. Volunteers for the Environment: 

 On April 20, 2013 SRI hosted the 6th annual cleanup of the Roger Williams Park pond system. This cleanup project involved 247 volunteers who worked together to clean the ponds of trash deposited over the year. Last year, 294volunteers removed an estimated 7,000 pounds of trash from the entire pond system.  Over the past five years a total of 1,143 volunteers have contributed 3,429 hours of service with an economic benefit of $75,918 in cleaning up the pond. 

f. Volunteers in Times of Disaster:

SRI provided over 1,200 volunteers to help clean up debris in RI coastal areas left by Super Storm Sandy.  After the Blizzard of 2013 in February, SRI mobilized 50 volunteers to remove snow for 119 elderly and disabled Rhode Island residents. Volunteers contributed9,500 hours of service, providing an economic benefit of $210,330.

6. Economic Impact

Between the work of AmeriCorps members and community volunteers, in 2012,Rhode Island received 280,744 hours of volunteer service having an economic benefit totaling $6,215,672.  Add to the value of labor the $4 million in AmeriCorps dollars, the total economic impact on the state was over $10,000,000.

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