Golf tourney provides financial boost, critical exposure to nonprofits

There are not many certainties in a game of golf. One can strike a beautiful drive that soars straight, then  rolls toward the pin. 

Or, that tee shot can just as easily be sliced into the woods – beginning its trek to a triple-bogey. Such is the game of golf, especially among the amateur ranks. 

However, when RISCPA members and friends gather on Monday, July 25 at the Warwick Country Club for the Society’s 25th annual golf tournament, there are a few things to be certain. The day is sure to be a good time, one marked by friends, food, and of course, spirited competition – whether that be for the day’s longest drive or lowest score. 

Sure too, is the fact that a deserving nonprofit organization will benefit from the generosity of all of those who take part.

For the past two years, and again this summer, that nonprofit will be Community Preparatory, an independent school in South Providence. Community Prep is 32-years-old and serves culturally and economically diverse students who are well qualified to benefit from a rigorous academic education. Students attend from grades three through eight, with 96 percent receiving substantial financial aid. All families make contributions to their child’s tuition. On average, 97 percent of Community Prep students are accepted into college prep high-school programs, including competitive private and independent schools in Rhode Island and throughout New England. 83 percent of Community Prep’s college age alumni are attending or have graduated from college.

Lisa Dantas, Director of Development at Community Prep, explains that the donation from RISCPA’s golf tournament these past two years has gone directly into the school’s annual fund, directly impacting its students. Dantas recalls RISCPA Executive Director Robert A. Mancini’s visit to Community Prep a few years ago and came away impressed. Mancini vowed to help spread the word about the good work being done there and wasted no time in making good on that promise.

RISCPA’s outreach to Community Prep has been deeply appreciated. The financial gift has been critically important for a school that must work diligently to raise funds and secure grants. Also important has been the connections made between the independent school and the professional community. 

“It is extremely important for Community Preparatory School to be connected to RISCPA,” said Dantas. “It opens doors. I attend the golf tournament with students, and I also attend the two annual RISCPA networking events. It’s a way for a large professional group to learn about Community Prep, and get them involved in the school..”

Mancini explained that getting the nonprofit organization involved in all aspects of the tournament is an investment of time that pays huge dividends.

“It’s critical that the benefactor have a presence at the event, as it amplifies and reinforces the good work being done at the charity,” he said.

Community Prep joins a long list of nonprofits that have been impacted by the generous outreach of the RISCPA. 

Ellen Grizzetti, Chief Executive Officer at Hope Alzheimer’s Center, enjoyed a three-year partnership with RISCPA, as a beneficiary of proceeds from the annual tournament from 2011 through 2013.

“We are grateful for the support and opportunity to be part of such wonderful event,” said Grizzetti. “It even inspired us to try our own tournament, which we started in 2014 and it is still going strong!”

Grizzetti described the RISCPA tournament as a deeply meaningful event.

“We have nice memories from RISCPA’s tournament,” she said. “Some of our staff and board members volunteered on tournament days and some played in the tournaments. At the evening reception, we had caregivers tell their story of how the Hope Center helped their family, and staff spoke about how much the support of RISCPA meant to our center. Hearing those stories firsthand helped people connect with our mission.”

Grizzetti added that the networking opportunities and communication lines established as a result of the partnership with RISCPA have deep and long lasting benefits.

“It is so important for nonprofits to connect with professional organizations,” she said. “The relationship can be mutually beneficial. The Hope Center helps families cope with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease by giving them a nurturing place to turn for support and assistance in caring for their memory-impaired loved one. Many professionals entrust Hope with their loved one they are at work. Our center gives people a place to turn for peace of mind in knowing that their loved ones are well cared for and happy during the day while they tend to work and other responsibilities.”

The connection between nonprofits and the business community is a lesson well learned.

“We are always looking for professional people to be part of our organization,” said Grizzetti. “Money and resources are so tight at a nonprofit. We benefit tremendously from the support of skilled professionals in the community who are willing to donate their time and expertise to our cause -- whether it is serving on our board, hosting  a charity event on our behalf, or simply spending a day at the center.”