Rhode Island College launches pipeline program to develop fundraising professionals

PROVIDENCE – A new fundraising apprenticeship program at Rhode Island College is being created to help develop a pipeline of fundraising professionals.

RIC announced Wednesday the new program, which will be a partnership between the college, the Rhode Island College Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation and the Rhode Island chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. RIC School of Social Work Interim Dean Jayashree Nimmigadda said in a statement that the Fundraising Apprenticeship Specialization program’s purpose is to provide the state’s nonprofit community with access to professionally trained fundraisers.

The pilot program, funded $50,000 by the Rhode Island Foundation, will allow three participants to complete a one-year certificate of graduate studies in nonprofit leadership with a fundraising concentration, RIC said. The 15-credit curriculum, RIC said, covers skill areas including operations, annual giving, planned giving, fundraising campaigns and budgeting. RIC said the candidates have completed their first semester of the program.

RIC also said candidates will complete an apprenticeship at both the Rhode Island Foundation and a local nonprofit organization. Students will spend 10 hours per week on the apprenticeship and receive a stipend for their work, the college said.

- Advertisement -

Lastly, RIC said the candidates will become members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ state chapter and be required to participate in in quarterly events in order to build their professional network and knowledge of the industry. The candidates will also engage with a mentor at the association offering learning support and understanding of the fundraising profession.

In a statement, RIC President Frank D. Sanchez said the state’s nonprofit community is “one of the greatest sources of social and economic strength.” Creating a pipeline of skilled fundraisers will “amplify that strength,” Sanchez said.

“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,” Rhode Island Foundation CEO and President Neil D. Steinberg said in a statement.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.