United Way of Rhode Island

United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) makes it easy for Rhode Islanders to get help and give back by investing in proven programs that help children fall in love with learning, training adults for careers, and providing childcare and other essentials to families. They also give Rhode Islanders one number to call in a crisis, 2-1-1.


How might we put community at the core of our strategic planning process? 


BIF partnered with UWRI leadership to imagine and design how Rhode Islanders might participate in their Strategic Planning 2020 process. Having decided to host over 40 Community FIRST Conversations over September – November 2019, BIF helped build out an experience, supporting assets, and a host materials packet and training that would guide community leaders in engaging the voice and experience of individuals and families from across the state in answering the following four questions: 


  • What are the challenges that most affect the life of your family, neighbors and community?
  • What are some of the assets and strengths of your community? 
  • What changes do you think need to happen to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have the opportunity to prosper?
  • What role should UWRI play to make RI stronger?

Leaders from around the state used BIF and UWRI collaboratively generated training and storytelling materials to host nearly 60 community dinners of approximately 10-20 attendees each from across zip codes and demographic groups in RI, generating high quality qualitative data covering the strengths, needs, and aspirations of Rhode Islanders. UWRI will analyze, synthesize, and share this data and stories collected with the community over the next year and use it to inform the rest of their strategic planning process.