RIC and Rhode Island Foundation team up to develop pipeline of diverse fundraising professionals

Raymond Baccari

News Editor

Graphic by Caroline Niehoff

On Feb. 9, through the Certificate of Graduate Studies program at RIC’s School of Social Work, several foundations announced with the college the creation of the Fundraising Apprenticeship Specialization. The college is partnering with the RIC Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This specialization will begin a pipeline of diverse fundraising professionals. $50,000 to help fund the program is coming from The Rhode Island Foundation.


The Interim Dean of RIC’s School of Social Work (RICSSW), Dr. Jayashree Nimmagadda said that, “The purpose of the program is to provide the Rhode Island nonprofit community with access to professionally trained fundraisers. The one-year pilot program will support future nonprofit development staffing. We are delighted to announce that three participants have completed their first semester and have now begun their second.”


This pilot group will consist of three members. Michael Andrade, the Program Director for RICSSW’s Nonprofit Studies Program, is leading the one-year program. Those who are in the pilot group and complete the program will have a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Nonprofit Leadership with a concentration in Fundraising.

Those participating in this 15-credit program will learn invaluable skills in areas such as operations, budgeting, strategic planning, annual giving, planned giving, major gifts and fundraising campaigns.

“Apprenticeship candidates will work closely with an advisor and as a group towards integrating coursework with apprenticeship opportunities and collective learning,” John Taraborelli said in a statement. “Candidates will also complete an apprenticeship at both the Rhode Island Foundation and a local nonprofit organization. Students will spend 10 hours per week on the apprenticeship program and receive a stipend for their apprenticeship.”

RIC President Frank D. Sánchez is ecstatic about this partnership. “It is essential to Rhode Island College’s mission to develop the diverse workforce our state needs to move forward. Rhode Island’s nonprofit community is one of its greatest sources of social and economic strength and creating a pipeline of skilled fundraising professionals will amplify that strength,”.

Neil Steinberg, the President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation shares a similar vision for this program. “Investing in a well-trained, diverse community of fundraisers is very important to build philanthropy for all in Rhode Island. Doing so will lead to better, more inclusive and equitable outcomes for us all. We are thankful for partners like RIC and AFP-RI that join with us to ensure philanthropy is well positioned for the future.”



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