History

A Choice in Giving in the Workplace

The Fund for Community Progress logoThe Fund for Community Progress was established in 1982 as an alliance of 13 community-based Rhode Island charities that shared a common mission. Their goal was to raise money for their grassroots advocacy by opening the door for employees to direct their workplace contributions to social change.

The Fund’s first campaign kicked off in October 1982 and raised $8,451. The proceeds were distributed equally among the member agencies. To date, The Fund has raised over $7 million for community change.

Joseph Vanni and Nondas Hurst Voll

Joe Vanni PhotoNondas Hurst Voll photoThe long-time coordinator of The Fund for Community Progress was the late Joseph R. Vanni, a tenacious, dedicated activist who served The Fund for nearly a decade. Joe guaranteed the continuance of The Fund through a $70,000 bequest that established an endowment for The Fund’s operation. The Fund’s longest serving Executive Director, Nondas Hurst Voll, retired at the end of 2006 after more than 14 years of service. An endowment was established in her honor to support scholarships to lower-income single mothers for studies in higher education.


Over 25 Years of Change

To commemorate its 25th anniversary in 2007, The Fund introduced the Profile in Change Award™  to recognize individuals whose work has significantly contributed to positive change in Rhode Island. In honoring them, The Fund aspires to motivate others to become agents of change and to encourage support for organizations that help create change. The inaugural recipients were former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and Dr. Pablo Rodriguez. The 2009 recipients were Linda Katz, Policy Director of The Poverty Institute, and Senator Jack Reed. The 2010 honoree is Henry Shelton, founder of the George Wiley Center.  The 2011 recipients were RI Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts, and Barbara Fields. The 2012 recipients were, previous Executive Director of The Fund, Nondas Hurst Voll and CEO of Neighborhood Health plan of RI, Mark Reynolds.  In 2013 we honored The Fund's long-time friend and Roast Master of Ceremonies Dan Jaehnig, news anchor at WJAR TV10.  This year we will honor Steve Brown, Executive Director of the RI ACLU.