PORTSMOUTH, R.I. \u2014 The Rhode Island Foundation is offering local libraries, schools, municipal agencies and nonprofit groups grants of up to $10,000 to fund proposals that bring people together as a community. March 13 is the deadline to apply.\n"We are looking for proposals that will improve the quality of life, build relationships and increase connections. Our goal is to make unique and important things happen that will enliven neighborhoods and build lasting bonds between people," said Jenney Pereira, the Foundation's vice president of grant programs.\u00a0\nSince launching the Community Grants Program in 2016, the Foundation has funded community gardens, playgrounds, interpretative signage, walking tours, artistic performances and public art.\nPast winners include the\u00a0Melville Elementary School in\u00a0Portsmouth, which received the $10,000 grant to build an outdoor classroom; the\u00a0town of Portsmouth, which received $10,000 to create a dog park in Melville Park; and the\u00a0PLACE\u00a0in Portsmouth, which received $9,337 to support community theater, dance and music performances and workshops.\n\u00a0Proposals should spark community engagement at the local level, be easily accessible, create new or enhance existing partnerships, be relevant to the particular community, promote the role of shared public spaces as local anchors, be doable and demonstrate a meaningful impact.\u00a0\nPriority will be given to proposals that include community support such as matching grants, the participation of volunteers and donated space or other forms of in-kind contributions.\nWhile both new initiatives and enhancements to existing projects are eligible, the grants are intended to support one-time costs and expenses. Applicants will not be eligible for renewed funding for the same project in future years. Capital campaigns, endowments, for-profit entities, individuals, political groups and lobbying efforts are not eligible.\nThe Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information about applying for a community grant, visit\u00a0rifoundation.org.