A group of older people sitting on a bench and smiling.

The Harriet Ballou Charitable Foundation launches in Rhode Island

Organizations urged to apply for cash grants

The Harriet Ballou Charitable Foundation (HBCF), located at 15 Cowesett Road in Warwick, RI, is proud to announce its official launch as a non-profit, philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting senior populations in Rhode Island. HBCF’s primary mission is to provide essential resources, funding, and advocacy to initiatives that enhance the lives and well-being of elderly individuals in Rhode Island’s local communities.

HBCF is urging nonprofit organizations, community groups, government agencies, and other agencies that align with its mission to apply for cash grants here:

 Application Form – The Harriet Ballou Foundation

The Foundation will consider applications on a quarterly basis and provides grants based on need. Through strategic partnerships and financial grants, the HBCF aims to enable organizations to help provide critical services and support to Rhode Island seniors.

The Foundation expects to give out approximately $300,000 this year and next. There is no minimum or maximum on individual grants.


About the Harriet Ballou Foundation:

In May of 1900, Harriet Ballou, John A.G. Wightman, Henry Greene, William Preston, and Leonard Taylor petitioned the Rhode Island General Assembly for permission to form a non-profit corporation in Woonsocket that would serve “respectable aged persons, who from any cause are unable to support themselves.”

On June 13, 1900, the General Assembly approved this request, and the Ballou Home was born.  For more than 120 years, Ballou was a gem in Woonsocket. The Ballou Home was a highly desired place for people to live when their life circumstances required them to rely on the kindness of others for their daily needs. This legacy is a testament to Ballou’s wonderful staff, families, donors, and supporters, all of whom helped the Home endure two world wars, the Great Depression, and two pandemics.

Unfortunately, the economic realities of operating a small (43-bed) skilled nursing facility along with the crushing and relentless blows of the pandemic – proved too much for Ballou to continue to bear. Despite the Board’s best efforts and continuing to subsidize and fund substantial operating losses, it determined that its current path and model were economically unsustainable and after serious and thoughtful consideration, the Board made the difficult decision to close the Home in September 2021. All of Ballou’s residents promptly found new homes, and the Board sold its building in March of 2022.

But, this was not the end of the Ballou story. Rather, it was the start of a new beginning. Ballou’s Board of Directors is committed to continuing Mrs. Ballou’s name and legacy to continue this mission as The Harriet Ballou Charitable Foundation, a non-profit grantmaking foundation that distributes cash grants to eligible recipients. The Board is excited to reinvent the Ballou legacy and begin a new chapter in its history. For more information visit:

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