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Social Venture Partners Rhode Island named Champion in Action in economic development category

Nonprofit agency receives unrestricted $25,000 grant, PR and volunteer support

Providence, R.I. (January 14, 2011) - Earlier today, Citizens Bank and NBC 10 named Social Venture Partners Rhode Island in Providence as their 2011 first quarter Champion in Action® in the economic development category. Social Venture Partners Rhode Island will receive a $25,000 unrestricted grant, media coverage and extensive promotional and volunteer support for its outstanding work.

The grant will be used to help grow social enterprise, create sustainable Rhode Island ventures and build its Buy with Heart awareness campaign. 

“Citizens Bank is pleased to name Social Venture Partners Rhode Island as the newest Champion in Action in the economic development category,” said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. “Economic development in our state is vital to our success and this award will help Social Venture Partners Rhode Island continue to attract entrepreneurs and ventures to Rhode Island and create jobs for some of the most difficult to employ.”

“NBC 10 is proud to recognize Social Venture Partners Rhode Island for its programs that promote partnerships of entrepreneurs and social investors looking to develop the social enterprise sector in Rhode Island. This organization has become a statewide leader by working to make Rhode Island a national hub for social enterprise and we are pleased to name it a Champion in Action,” said Lisa Churchville, President and General Manager of NBC 10.

Launched in 2002, Champions in Action is a joint initiative of Citizens Bank and NBC 10 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations for their contributions to Rhode Island communities. A new Champion in Action is selected each quarter among a range of social service topics.

Social Venture Partners Rhode Island provides a wide-array of programs including:

  • Change Accelerator, an eight-week mentor based social venture training program.
  • Social Enterprise Rhode Island, a community-building program that has helped develop more that 50 new ventures.
  • Buy with Heart, its newest initiative and the nation’s first social enterprise consumer awareness campaign that aims to encourage purchasing of social enterprise products and services.

As a Champion in Action, Social Venture Partners Rhode Island will receive:

  • A $25,000 contribution in unrestricted funds from Citizens Bank.
  • Media coverage from NBC 10, including public service announcements and television profiles.
  • Volunteer support from Citizens and NBC 10 employees.
  • Extensive public relations support.
  • Promotional support, highlighting the Champion in Action in all Citizens Bank branches and on its ATMs.
  • Exposure on both Citizens Bank and NBC 10 Web sites.

“It is a tremendous honor for our organization to be selected as a Champion in Action,” said Kelly Ramirez, Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Rhode Island. “SVPRI envisions social enterprise as a key piece of a more vibrant economic development strategic in Rhode Island.”


Applications for the third quarter 2011 Champion in Action in the neighborhood revitalization category are due Friday, March 25 at 5 p.m. and the winner will be announced in July 2011. Online applications can be obtained at www.citizensbank.com/community/champions.

Prior Rhode Island Champions in Action include: Bayside Family Healthcare in North Kingstown, the House of Hope in Warwick, The Providence Black Repertory Company in Providence, the Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation in Woonsocket, McAuley House in Providence, TechACCESS in Warwick, Sojourner House in Providence, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation in Pawtucket, Rhode Island Free Clinic in Providence, The Genesis Center in Providence, the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, New Urban Arts in Providence, West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation in Providence, Tides Family Services located throughout the state, Community MusicWorks in Providence, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, Welcome House of South County in South Kingstown’s Peace Dale neighborhood, Franklin Court Independent Living in Bristol, RiverzEdge Arts Project in Woonsocket, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council in Providence, The Institute for the Study and Practice for Nonviolence in Providence, Church Community Housing Corporation in Newport, Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island in Providence, Youth in Action in Providence, Molar Express in Cranston, Everett Dance Theatre in Providence, Olneyville Housing Corporation in Providence, the ASPIRE Program at the RI Foster Parents Association in East Providence, the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center in Warwick, Amos House in Providence, Connecting for Children and Families in Woonsocket, Southside Community Land Trust in Providence and Kids First in Providence.

To learn more about how to contribute through donations or volunteerism to Social Venture Partners Rhode Island call 401.415.6077.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 82 branches and 195 ATMs in Rhode Island.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $136 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG’s website is citizensbank.com.  

About NBC 10

WJAR-TV/DT is the most watched television station in the Providence-New Bedford television market and NBC 10 News is southern New England’s leading news station. WJAR was first launched as a radio station in 1922 and then became the market’s first television station in 1949. WJAR-TV/DT is owned by Media General, Inc.

About Media General
Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal, 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina, and more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets currently include 30 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 33 percent of the television households in the Southeast and more than 10 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.