Association of Fundraising Professionals - Rhode Island Chapter
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Advancing philanthropy through education, training and advocacy

Herbert E. Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship


Scholarship Amount



Number of Scholarships Available per Year



Date to Start Accepting Applications

June 1, 2017


August 1, 2017

The Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship $2,500.00 college scholarship is available to a student graduating from a Rhode Island high school in June 2018 who has demonstrated a history of philanthropy and volunteerism. It is the hope that the award winner's chosen education area will nurture a continued interest in community service.

The Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship will be presented at the National Philanthropy Day Breakfast & Awards Ceremony in November.

The award is named in memory of Herb Kaplan, a Rhode Islander well noted for his service to the community.  The scholarship is jointly funded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – RI Chapter and Herb’s wife, Christine Townsend along with other generous donors.


One-time award


How to Apply

Download an application for the Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship here.



Apply My Status 

Who to Contact

Doreen Tucker 
(401) 333-6333 x 115 

2013 Herbert E. Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship Winner:
Gianna Jasinski 
We would like to thank all of those who National Philanthropy Day on November 26, 2013. I think we can all agree that the speech made by our Herbert E. Kaplan Youth in Philanthropy Scholarship award, Gianna Jasinski, summed up a lot of the emotion of the event. So, in response to requests from many attendees, we’ve posted copy of the speech below to remind us why we all do what we do each and every day.
"Good morning. Today, I receive this honor with deep gratitude to the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Rhode Island. I am honored to be accepting this award and to be in the presence of so many incredible individuals and organizations, who do so much to improve the quality of life and well-being of Rhode Islanders. It is an award that speaks to my highest aspirations to serve others, to help those who have less than I, and to make a difference in the world.

I would first like to thank the individuals who have supported me, taught me, and provided guidance along the way. To my teachers at LaSalle academy, especially Mrs. Maggiacomo, who is here with me today. She has served as an adviser and a sounding board, and has always been there to provide encouragement in my endeavors. I would like to thank the dean of my class, Mrs. Richard, who is also present today, whose energy and enthusiasm always bolsters me to do more and reach further. I would like to acknowledge Mike Gianfrancesco, from Foursight Graphics and AFP, who has been a wonderful mentor, providing me opportunities to learn more about philanthropy and work with non-profit organizations and has given me the courage and confidence to get out there and share my talents with others. And last but not least, I would like to thank my mother, who in addition to driving me all over the state for various community service activities, has engrained in me the value of giving back and serving those in need. I can recall as a little girl, accompanying her to deliver food and clothing to low-income families. Since then, I have tried to follow in those footsteps of reaching out to others.

I have been most inspired by the people I’ve met along the way. I think of my visits to the McCauley Village, a transitional housing program for single mothers and their children. Despite their struggles and hard times, these mothers are so determined and resilient. And I think of the children – the smallest thing excited them – a game of hide and go seek, playing dress up, or dancing to silly music. I think of the residents at the nursing homes I volunteered at, whose faces would light up in an instant, as I played the piano, brought homemade cookies, or just sat and chatted with them. I think of the neglected and abandoned children, cared for by the Children’s Shelter of Blackstone Valley. I believe that every child deserves a loving, supportive, and happy home and I was happy to help in fundraising efforts to brighten the lives of these children who had experienced such pain.

The culmination of my volunteers has been an initiative that I founded several years ago called the “The 29 Day Challenge for Teens.” This project was based on the book “29 Gifts: How a month of giving can change your life” which chronicles how 29 days of giving. The author was struggling with the physical and emotional pain of multiple sclerosis, when a spiritual advisor suggested that she was too focused on herself, and gave her an unusual prescription for healing: give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Initially reluctant, the author followed the advice and found the giving to be transformative, her health and happiness turned around. She founded an international movement, “The 29 Day Challenge,” to spread her experience throughout the world. I was inspired by her story and decided to create a giving movement for teens. I felt that teens had a giving spirit and an optimistic outlook that when shared with others could lighten their lives. Over the last couple years, I’ve been visiting high schools, signing on schools to the challenge. While the gifts were small, the effects were dramatic. Teens are great givers: helping at home with chores, spending time with aging grandparents, being more considerate of other kids, volunteering in their community. I am continuing to spread The 29 day challenge for teens to other RI high schools. Imagine the impact if thousands of teens committed to give away 29 gifts in 29 days, imagine if kindness and generosity become a habit.

As we gather here this morning and prepare to celebrate the abundance in our lives this thanksgiving week, we must be mindful that there are still too many Rhode Islanders unemployed struggling to make ends meet. There are too many children living in poverty. There are too many elders withering away alone. The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more. I thank you for this award today but I realize that I am at the beginning, not the end of a future of giving to others. Inspired by the great work of all of the philanthropists being honored today, I am proud to join you. Each of us can be a rainbow of hope, extending ourselves in kindness and grace, lighting the way for others