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:

    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.
    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, DEM, 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 access to experience and learning—whether in the classroom, after school, or beyond. Whether it is funding equipment for classroom innovation or grants toward building infrastructure for independent and charter schools, prep and enrichment programs – it all plays a role in Champlin’s grant strategy.
    Every Rhode Islander deserves access to proper 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.
    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 the 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 populations with food, shelter, education, job training, and more. We are committed to keeping this 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 Y’s to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, boating programs, and career and leadership development, supporting the organizations that help them to develop physically and mentally is a cornerstone of the foundation.
    Grantmaking Guidelines

    Grantmaking at a glance.

    Capital project grants are awarded to Rhode Island based nonprofit organizations.  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 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.

    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 well-managed, financially stable, and programmatically effective, there is strong leadership and an engaged, supportive board of directors, and there are no fiscal concerns or red flags.

    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.

    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 highly limited basis at the discretion of the Distribution Committee. Those seeking consideration for a challenge grant are strongly advised to make this known in January of the given year. An Executive staff assessment will determine whether the organization should move forward with a formal request to be reviewed by the Distribution Committee.

    In rare cases, we will accept applications from organizations using fiscal agents.  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 signed Memo of Understanding outlining the agreement between the applicant and the fiscal agent. This is because 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 $250,000, making the process highly competitive.

    Applications will only be accepted for requests related to exterior repairs or improvements necessary to maintain the historic integrity of the 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.

    The Champlin Foundation will accept applications for major library construction projects subject to the following terms, conditions and restrictions which will be strictly adhered to without exception:

    The Champlin Foundation contribution towards the first $2,500,000 of any construction project shall not exceed twenty percent. Note that projects less than $2.5 million or with relatively modest expenses may be considered for exemption from this requirement.

    The Champlin Foundation may consider an additional contribution towards the second $2,500,000 of any library construction project not to exceed ten percent.

    Please note that in the event the Foundation receives a number of large library construction requests in any given year, some may be deferred until a future grant cycle.

    Also note that there may be an occasion when the Foundation intends to fully support the project but will partially fund in a given year requiring the applicant to apply for the balance amount in a subsequent year.

    Exception from these guidelines, including any additional contributions to a project that exceeds $5,000,000 in total, will be limited to truly extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Distribution Committee.

    The Champlin Foundation’s competitive grant program in the area of public secondary education focuses exclusively on classroom innovation in RI public schools. Application is by invitation only through an RFP. 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 2020, we will be accepting applications from middle schools and junior high schools only.

    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.

    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.

    Participation in the visit should be limited to those who are directly involved with the application and are therefore best equipped to answer questions. If the project for which funding is sought is a major undertaking of the organization, we would hope to have at least one or two members of the Board in attendance.

    Please note that site visits are a regular part of the review process and are by no means indicators that a grant request will be funded or denied.

    • Capital Campaign Feasibility Studies
    • Daycare Centers, Preschools & Elementary Schools
    • Endowments
    • Grants to Individuals
    • Housing Authorities
    • New construction or expansion of transitional housing
    • Master Plans & Studies
    • Memorials & Statues
    • Municipal Animal Shelters, Fire and/or Police Departments, and playgrounds
    • Municipal Parks, however, a separate 501c3 “Friends” organization may apply
    • Operating Expenses
    • Permanent Housing
    • Programming Expenses
    • Senior Centers
    • Signage
    • Software Licenses
    • Solar Panels
    • Volunteer Fire/Rescue or Ambulance companies