The University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy (IOP), a program of the School of Continuing Studies, recently awarded professional certificates to participants in its Fundraising & Development Winter Institute.

Eleven students earned a Professional Certificate in Fundraising & Development during the Winter Institute held January 9-15, 2011. The 11 students (pictured above) are Nettie Ardler, Diana Barden, Constance Bowden, Janet Kiss, Kaitlin Leibowitz, Roshita Pandey, Dorothy Sharp, Margaret Ivy Smith, Pamela Toliver, Karie Walker and Jessica Will.

Kathy Powers, IOP director, developed the week-long format to give nonprofit professionals a simple and efficient way to earn a professional certificate. It also offers nonprofit professionals an opportunity to jump-start their careers instead of having to find time to take classes one-by-one over the course of a year.

Participants in the Fundraising & Development Institute spent the week examining their own organization’s situation, understanding the role of strategy in creating a development plan, and recognizing how all of the fundraising parts fit together, including the importance of building and organizing a board to raise money. The week concluded with writing a development plan for the participant’s organization based on their work throughout the week.

Laura Doherty, executive director of development at Randolph-Macon College and instructor in the program, sees much value in this approach.

“Participants get to spend an entire week with the faculty and with each other,” says Doherty. “There is much more time to delve into the participants’ particular obstacles or issues. We also get to build a strong network of colleagues, great for sharing ideas with, asking questions of, and seeking help from, throughout the week and well into the future.”

IOP attracts students from all over the country. Kaitlin Leibowitz and Dorothy Sharp are mother and daughter who traveled from Snomass, Colorado, to participate in IOP’s two Winter Institutes—Fundraising & Development and Nonprofit Marketing. Both have family ties to the Institutes: Sharp’s sister participated in both the Fundraising & Development and Nonprofit Marketing Summer Institutes in 2010.

IOP aims to strengthen the community and inspire charitable giving by educating professionals, volunteers and donors about the practices and purposes of nonprofit fundraising and development.

In addition to Summer and Winter Institutes that provide week-long certificate-earning opportunities, IOP offers a Board Development series for nonprofit board members and executives. It also offers individual classes and workshops for nonprofit executives and fundraisers throughout the year. For more information about IOP, visit scs.richmond.edu/philanthropy.