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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our in-person workshops have been cancelled for the time being. Please join us for virtual capacity-building sessions designed for nonprofit staff and board members.


Click on the session title to register. Sessions are free; registration is required. You will receive log-in information upon registration.

Engaging your donors virtually: a conversation about online donor meetings
Wednesday, March 24; 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Please join our colleague, Daniel Kertzner, senior philanthropic advisor at the Rhode Island Foundation, for an interactive session exploring the challenges and opportunities of meeting new donors and deepening relationships with current donors during COVID. Daniel will discuss some of his experiences with virtual communication and we’ll open the floor to discuss emerging practices. This session is open to development staff and executive directors.

Collaboration: Virtual speed dating
April 1, 2021; 1-2:30 p.m.
This program is designed to facilitate brief connections and conversations among nonprofits seeking partners for collaboration. We’ll set up different breakout groups for shared office space, shared back office services, and other sharing opportunities. If you are looking or offering, this is a chance to meet other nonprofits.
Facilitator: Jill Pfitzenmayer, vice president for capacity building, Rhode Island Foundation

Telling your nonprofit’s story: a conversation with Alan Rosenberg, former executive editor at The Providence Journal
Thursday, April 29; 10-11 a.m.
Nonprofits need a strategy to get stories about their work and impact out to the community and to generate understanding and support. Please join us for a special program featuring Former Providence Journal Executive Editor Alan Rosenberg. Alan will offer insights into the nonprofit stories that, in his experience, have been highly effective and resonant. He’ll share tips for communicating with a broad audience and methods for gaining media attention.

Peer learning group for new executive directors

It’s lonely at the top! We hear this from executive directors all the time, especially those who are new in the role. To help new executive directors connect and network with a group of peers, we are starting a peer learning group for new executive directors. We consider a “new” ED any executive director who has been in their role for less than two years.

This is an informal monthly peer network designed to help new executive directors learn on the job. Informal coaching and resource sharing will be part of every meeting. Meetings will be facilitated by Foundation capacity building staff, but the content and topics will be determined by the group members.

We’ll hold our initial meetings via Zoom and transition to in-person meetings when it is safe to do so. Enrollment in the group is limited so please send an email expressing your interest and availability no later than April 2, 2021 to Keith Tavares.

Capacity building assistance for your organization

Please email either Keith Tavares or Jill Pfitzenmayer if you need any assistance with your organization’s infrastructure. We can help with questions about fundraising, board governance, finances, and other nonprofit capacity issues. We are happy to talk with senior staff or board members to help you find what you are seeking.

Recorded workshops


  1. Introduction to Fund Development
    Presented by Keith Tavares of Rhode Island Foundation
  2. Intro to Board Fundraising
    Presented by Keith Tavares of Rhode Island Foundation
  3. Take your Fundraising Event Virtual
    Presented by Kristin Steele of Swain Strategies
  4. Fundraising in Challenging Times
    Presented by Chuck Gordon of New Kensington Group
  5. When & How to Raise Funds During and After a Crisis
    Presented by Sharon Danosky of Danosky Associates


  1. How to Speak Well (Enough) with your Extraordinary Family of Supporters….in these darker times
    Presented by Tom Ahern of Tom Ahern Donor Communications

Financial Management

  1. Understanding and Managing the Financial Impact of Coronavirus on Nonprofit Organizations
    Presented by Sandy Ross of KLR

Related Capacity Building Topics

  1. Nonprofit Collaborations: tips and tools to help them succeed
    Presented by Keith Tavares and Katie Murray of Rhode Island Foundation