The Foundation provides regular, free, opportunities for local nonprofits to strengthen organizational capacity through topic-focused workshops.

Upcoming sessions

Capacity building offerings

Join us in Cumberland for the last of our regional, three-part sessions – board chair peer learning breakfasts, office hours with Foundation staff, and executive director networking lunches – with additional board chair peer learning breakfasts in Providence. Each session is free; registration is required.

Designed for new and seasoned board chairs, these sessions will include a mini-workshop and peer discussion focused on specific topics.

Foundation staff will provide individual, confidential technical assistance and share expertise with organization leaders seeking guidance and support. Board members and senior leaders may sign up for a 30-minute appointment between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. with a Foundation staff member of their choice (noted below). Jill Pfitzenmayer will provide guidance around board governance issues, Keith Tavares will provide support around fund development issues, and a Grant Programs Officer will provide guidance from a funder’s perspective. To register, contact Keith Tavares at (401) 427-4054 or or Jill Pfitzenmayer at (401) 427-4006 or

  • November 8: Cumberland Library, 1464 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland
    Technical assistance will be provided by:
    Inés Merchán, Grant Programs Officer
    Jill Pfitzenmayer, Vice President of Capacity Building
    Keith Tavares, Capacity Building Officer

Join nonprofit executive directors in your community for an informal opportunity to network, share information, and problem-solve over lunch.

Leading Nonprofits through Chaos and Complexity: One Step at a Time

Thursday, September 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
It’s harder than ever to keep up with complex changes and pressures facing the sector: changing demographics, emerging technologies, and ongoing financial pressures. Learn practical, effective ways to become more adaptive: redesign strategy; increase team autonomy and accountability; streamline meetings; and improve overall engagement. Stop processes that take time and energy away from essential priorities. Reduce bureaucracy and streamline action across the organization. This program will be highly practical and will introduce small steps for big reward.
Intended audience: EDs

Presenter: M.J. Kaplan, Kaplan Consulting

Every Board Member can Fundraise: Here’s How

Thursday, October 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Participants will learn concrete steps to make every board member a fundraiser. This workshop is aimed specifically at board members with passion for mission and limited experience around fund development.
Intended audience: nonprofit board members

Presenter: Keith Tavares, Capacity Building Officer, Rhode Island Foundation

Board Development Committee Chairs: What’s Working and What’s Not?

Friday, October 4, 9-10:30 a.m.
This gathering of nonprofit board development committee chairs is meant to surface those issues, barriers, and successes that board development committees encounter while working to support the fundraising needs of their organizations. The group will discuss their work as volunteer fundraisers, sharing their struggles, successes, best practices, and solutions.
Intended audience: board development committee chairs and members

Building a Communications & Marketing Strategy

Thursday, October 24, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Designed for nonprofit organizations looking to develop or improve a communications and marketing strategy. This workshop will cover the basics: the elements of a communications and marketing audit, audience identification and adaptation, message framing, resource allocation, and when and why to measure progress. The session is not designed to focus on communications and marketing tactics, instead participants focus on tips and tools for developing and beginning to implement a holistic strategy. This workshop is recommended for organizations with paid staff who focus at least a portion of their time exclusively on communications and marketing.
Presenter: Arianne Corrente, Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Rhode Island Foundation