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Scholarship Spotlight: Christine Stevens

Wednesday, April 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
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The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL), Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, at Rice University offers classes in the fall and spring. Did you know our Chapter awards scholarships which cover 80 percent of the course?



Christine Stevens, Development Officer at the Houston Grand Opera, was a recent recipient of a Rice University, Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL) scholarship. Here is what she had to say:


I received a scholarship to attend “Art of Fundraising: The Fundamentals” at Rice University Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Spring 2018. This is the first course/prerequisite in the Rice Comprehensive Fund Development Certification and awarded 16 CFRE points.


This course was excellent for contributing to these certification requirements as well as connecting with a new cohort of fundraising professionals. My classmates were wonderfully diverse in both their levels of experience as well as their non-profit sectors. Classmates included non-profit volunteers and board members looking to transition into the profession, new development officers and researchers with 1-3 years of experience, and seasoned veterans with many years of experience. And nonprofit sectors ranged from the performing arts, to higher education, to health and human services, and beyond. The networking and the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the similarities between industries was invaluable!


The purpose of the course is listed to: “Gain a foundation in fundraising techniques as well as an overview of development as a career.”  However, this course would also be appreciated by seasoned professionals who would like to brush up on the basics, as they are today. 


Instructors for this course are uneven. You will hear from a handful that are fantastic presenters and others who may be newer presenters with some rough edges. But, there is a different instructor or team of instructors for each class, so if someone isn’t quite hitting it home for you, there is a good chance that the next instructor will! I personally found Emily Hilber with Rice University, Taryn Baranowski with Houston Jewish Federation, and Kelly Zuniga with the Holocaust Museum Houston to be super-stand outs and phenomenal instructors.


The class is quite long.  After four weeks of 2 evenings a week until 8pm, you are ready to have your evenings back. It was enjoyable and welcomed to have a panel discussion in the last class.


Your take-aways from the course include a 3-ring binder with a print out of every PowerPoint Presentation as well as resource lists.  The resource lists are helpful!


I’d highly recommend this course if you are interested in seeking the Rice Comprehensive Fund Development Certification or the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.


Interested in applying? Here are your next opportunities:



  • May Deadline: 5/6/18 - "Fundraising Analytics: Leveraging The Power of Data" - course starts 6/6/18

  • June Deadline: 6/6/2018 - "Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives" - course starts 7/6/2018

Read more about scholarship and find out how to submit your application here.

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