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


The Rhode Island chapter is committed to bring our services and support to leadership staff, volunteers and students.
Available scholarships are:
Details for each scholarship are below, including applications if currently being accepted.



The Herbert E. Kaplan Fund
The Herbert E. Kaplan Fund provides full and partial professional development scholarships for fundraisers who wish to attend AFP-RI training, education workshops, Annual Conference on Philanthropy and special offerings with fees. The audience includes executive directors, development staff and leadership volunteers of grassroots and culturally diverse organizations. You do not need to be an AFP Member to qualify for an AFP-RI Scholarship to subsidize, in part or in full, the cost of attending. Please complete the Professional Development Scholarship application.
Email Completed Applications To:



A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded a Rhode Island high school senior who best exemplifies positive civic and community support through their interest in, commitment to and active involvement in volunteer and philanthropic causes.  Applicant must be a Rhode Island resident entering their senior year and be preparing to graduate in 2018 to be eligible for this scholarship.

Deadline for submitting the completed application to AFP - RI has been extended to August 1, 2017.



To help individuals serving nonprofit organizations develop knowledge and skill in fundraising, the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy sponsors the Chamberlain Scholarship Program. This scholarship covers the registration fee with an exception of a $10 reservation fee which must be paid by the scholar. The Rhode Island Chapter of AFP will provide reimbursement for lodging up to $500. Recipients are responsible for registering for the conference making lodging arrangements and submitting all receipts to the Rhode Island Chapter.

2016 AFP International Conference on Fundraising, March 20-22, 2016, Boston, MA (learn more about the conference)
Deadline for submission was Monday, November 30, 2015 (5 p.m.).

This scholarship is not currently available.

As a community of inclusion, the Association of Fundraising Professionals seeks, embraces, and engages diverse individuals, groups, and organizations with a broad representation of experiences, perspectives, thoughts and cultures within the fundraising profession. Through this strategic initiative, AFP is committed to activities that increase awareness of diversity issues. As part of this commitment, AFP has created a diversity scholarship program to provide financial assistance for the professional development of AFP members who are themselves members of a diverse community, or are employed by grassroots organizations that primarily serve diverse populations.

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy invites all AFP members to support diversity within the fundraising profession through the Diversity Scholarship Campaign. Contributions to this campaign will fund scholarships to support registration and travel costs to attend the annual AFP International Conference on Fundraising. Scholarships will be offered in each of three categories provided the category achieves sufficient funding. The AFP Foundation offers our donors the opportunity to direct their gifts to one of the following categories:
  • The General Diversity Scholarship Fund – reserved for applicants who identify themselves as members of the AFP diversity community of fundraising professionals, or AFP members who are employees of a nonprofit organization that serves a diverse community.
  • The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Scholarship Fund – reserved for applicants who identify themselves as members of the AFP GLBT diversity community of fundraising professionals, or AFP members who are employees of a nonprofit organization that serves the GLBT community.
  • The African-American Diversity Scholarship Fund - reserved for applicants who identify themselves as members of the AFP African-American diversity community of fundraising professionals, or AFP members who are employees of a nonprofit organization that serves the African-American community.

Applications for the Diversity Scholarship are available September 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. Deadline for applications was October 31, 2015.

This scholarship is not currently available.

For more information, visit


Below are shared conference experiences from past scholarship winners

Diane Morissette, Development Director at the Blackstone Academy was the AFP-RI Chamberlain Scholar attending the 2011 AFP International Conference in Chicago, March 20-23, 2011.  We asked Diane to reflect on her experience at conference. "I was privileged to be among the 5,000 professional fundraisers attending the AFP Conference in Chicago – thanks to the Chamberlain Scholarship that I was granted by our local chapter.   It was an awesome experience, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.
It was inspiring to be among so many true professionals – both presenters and attendees – who daily dedicate themselves to the important and challenging task of raising money for their organizations.
Throughout the conference, its theme “What Is Your Story?” came up again and again.   In almost every education session I attended during the 3-day conference, the message was again articulated.   What is your story?  Tell it to your constituents.   Make it so compelling that they can’t help but be moved by it.
Our powerful keynote speakers all had tremendously interesting stories.  Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Tom’s Shoes, entertainer Queen Latifah, and Former President Bill Clinton – all of them serious philanthropists.  Each shared how they happened to become involved in philanthropy.  As you can imagine, the reasons were varied and their stories were believable, compelling, persuasive, and heartwarming -- but most importantly, they were GREAT STORIES, and they were great storytellers.
Ironically, a week after the conference, I happened to meet another fundraiser in a very different setting  (my  local Curves!)   This person overheard me saying that I’d just gotten back from a fundraising conference, and she shared with me that she was the development director in a large organization, in charge of major gifts.   I told her about my job in a charter high school.   She wanted to know more about charter schools in general, and I was especially excited to share with her the strides that our school had recently made in high-stakes test scores, to which she responded “Wow!  You have a great story!”   
There it was again – the story!  Yes, absolutely, emphatically, WE ALL HAVE GREAT STORIES, and we take seriously our responsibility to get that story out."
Having never attended an International AFP Conference, 2010 Chamberlain Scholar Amy Peters, Development Associate at the RiverzEdge Arts Project, was unsure of what to expect at the April 2010 Conference in Baltimore. "I realized the responsibility of being this year’s Chamberlain scholar, and I wanted to be able to share what I learned at the conference with my colleagues back in Rhode Island.  
I am happy to say that the conference was a positive and thoroughly enjoyable experience.  I attended sessions on donor motivations, corporate sponsor relations, and major gifts, among others.  I found the Motivating Major Donors session to be especially helpful, with a reminder to not bombard potential donors and sponsors with information about the organization. People give from their heart and because they feel connected to an organization. The week I returned from the conference, we were able to apply the research-based conclusions reviewed in the Motivating Donors session when we planned our breakfast for potential sponsors. Setting a precedent in how we organize these events, I know this will be of great benefit to RiverzEdge Arts Project.
I have to mention the keynote speakers, whom I found to be very inspiring. They reflected a commitment to social justice and the reasons why many of us began working for nonprofits in the first place.  What an hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak of compassion and social equality--compelling motivators for fundraisers from around the world. 
Overall, I enjoyed attending the educational sessions and sharing ideas with other development professionals.  The information I learned will definitely benefit my organization and help me grow as a fundraiser.  
I am very grateful to the AFP Rhode Island Chapter for choosing me as this year’s Chamberlain Scholar.  Attending the conference was a tremendous opportunity."
In April 2009, Leah M. Macomber, CFRE, Director of Development at McAuley Ministries, formerly with Meals on Wheels of RI, was Rhode Island's Chamberlain Scholar for the AFP International Conference in New Orleans. Leah is very grateful to the Rhode Island Chapter for the opportunity to attend the Conference. "It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with development professionals from throughout the country and many parts of the world. As I participated in the various education sessions, I realized that no matter whether we're from Rhode Island or California or anywhere else, we all share the same concern--how can we best help our agencies succeed in these difficult economic times. "Highlights from the conference included keynote speakers, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and actor Sidney Poitier. Also very memorable was seeing New Orleans post-Katrina.  While much work has been accomplished and the city and its people are very warm and welcoming, much work remains to be done. "Attending the International Conference was a great experience and I encourage AFPRI members to apply for the Chamberlain Scholarship."

Karen Schnabel, Resource Development Manager, The Tomorrow Fund, 2008 scholarship recipient: "The educational sessions I attended were particularly valuable and were presented by experienced and talented fundraising professionals. One outstanding session I attended was Eight Proven Strategies for Keeping Development Efforts on Target presented Carole Rylander. I learned about the importance of strategic and development planning to keep development efforts on track. Also notable was a session that taught participants how to overcome the 6 negotiation habits that keep you from getting the biggest gifts possible. At another session, I acquired numerous ideas for involving donors and keeping them engaged in our mission. This was a wonderful opportunity to meet other development professionals. I met some very interesting people from all over the world and came away from this experience, a better and more knowledgeable development professional. Again, I thank you for this truly amazing experience. I would not have been able to attend had it not been for the scholarship I received from the RI chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals."

Maria Cassaday, Development Director, Sophia Academy, 2006 scholarship recipient: "Receiving the Chamberlin Scholarship was a tremendous opportunity for me personally as well as for Sophia Academy. It gave me the opportunity to attend an international, first-class event that I wouldn't have been able to afford on my own, or through my agency.  The educational seminars were extremely helpful to me as the director of development of a young organization.  As Sophia Academy matures our fundraising needs are also expanding.  The conference was an invaluable resource to me as we map out our development strategies for the upcoming years.  It was also great fun to meet my peers from not only around the United States, but internationally as well."

Kate Brewster, Executive Director, The Poverty Institute, 2005 scholarship recipient: "The Poverty Institute was extremely fortunate this year to be able to attend the Association for Fundraising Professional’s international conference in Baltimore.  This was made possible thanks to a Chamberlain Scholarship.   As the new Executive Director, my primary responsibility is to expand organizational capacity, particularly with respect to development.  I learned invaluable lessons and tips from the dynamic presenters and the fabulous materials that were made available to attendees.  Every session numerous workshops were offered that would have been incredibly helpful for us, which made it difficult to choose, but I feel that the workshops I attended were perfect given where the organization is at in our development life cycle."