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Institute on Philanthropy

The Institute on Philanthropy (IOP) strengthens the community by educating nonprofit professionals, volunteers, donors and community leaders in ethical and effective fundraising, marketing and board development strategies. We design our classes to meet the needs of a variety of nonprofit audiences. Our institutes serve participating nonprofits from Central Virginia and around the nation.

IOP offers coursework and week-long certification institutes in several areas for nonprofit staff, managers and board members.

Week-long Certification Institutes

IOP’s primary nonprofit education and training method is through week-long certification institutes led by nonprofit leaders in the Richmond region. Week-long training institutes are held on the University of Richmond campus with discounted lodging available at area hotels.

Our institutes provide training in all aspects of nonprofit operations, from fundraising and development to grantwriting and management. The intensive institute format encourages participants to work while they learn, engaging institute leaders and participants to address specific issues they face in their nonprofit organizations. Select portions of Institute programs may also be available for a la carte registration: contact the program manager for details.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Board Development Training

Our Board Development Series trains board members to improve and support their organizations.

Nonprofit Management

  • Our Strategic Financial Management program for nonprofits is a day-long program focused on the strategic nature of nonprofit finance.
  • The IOP Leadership Lab is a cohort-based 7-month leadership development and problem-solving lab for nonprofit CEOs and senior leaders.

CFRE Revew Class

  • Our CFRE Review Class, offered periodically as needed, is an intensive 2-day review class that covers fundraising topics to prepare for taking the CFRE exam.

Our programs offer career-enhancing skills and information on cutting edge topics and new trends. More importantly, our programs offer return on your investment with program deliverables, among which are development campaigns, marketing plans and more.

International Student Information

If you are an international student considering coursework through the Institute on Philanthropy, you need an F-1 student visa. Information is available from the Office of International Education—follow the guidelines for Summer School Students.

Manual for Starting a Nonprofit

Starting a Nonprofit: What You Need to Know. In the spring of 2005, the students in the Law of Nonprofit Organizations class at the University of Richmond created a manual on how to start a nonprofit organization. One of the goals in creating the manual was to make it available to individuals interested in starting nonprofits or in learning about the legal issues relating to nonprofit organizations. It is their hope that this manual will assist individuals in establishing nonprofit organizations to address important societal needs and in operating those organizations most effectively.

The class professors were Ann C. Hodges, Professor of Law and Phyllis C. Katz, Adjunct Professor of Law. The manual was written by the students whose names are set forth at the beginning of the full document and edited by two of the students, Kristi Cahoon (former Institute on Philanthropy student) and Rebecca Adams.

National Credentials

The University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy is an approved coursework provider for the following national credentialing agencies.

CFRE International

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Approved Provider for Continuing Education—Full participation in IOP courses is applicable for points in Category 1.B - Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification based on the number of contact hours listed for each class.

Grant Professional Certification Institute (GCPI)

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Accepted Continuing Education Provider — Full participation in the IOP Grant Writing & Management Institute is applicable for 40 CEUs in Category 1 - Education of the GCPI application for recertification.


A limited number of scholarships are available to cover class expenses. Complete the Scholarship Application or contact Kathy Laing for scholarship information.

You and your nonprofit can save 50% off each additional registration when more than one board member, CEO or representative from your organization registers for Board Development Series programs.

IOP logo

Institute on Philanthropy
Professional & Continuing Studies
Special Programs Building
490 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173

Kathy Laing, Manager
Phone: (804) 287-1290

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IOP Impact on Local Nonprofits

Testimonials & IOP News

Grant Writing Institute

“This course is essential to my success in the philanthropic world. It has taught me how to engage with funders, value the necessity of cultivating relationships with those in my community, and understand that having a program that is outcome based is key to the success of a nonprofit.”

—LeAnn Rutledge, Americorps Alumni, 2018 Grantwriting Institute

  • Laing leads workshop session on nonprofit fundraising innovations

    Kathy Laing, GC’16, led a breakout session workshop titled “The New Frontier of Philanthropy – A Survey of Fundraising Innovation” at the 21st annual Virginia Fund Raising Institute, July 24-25, 2019. 

Fund Development Institute

“This was probably the most singularly important course in my development as a nonprofit professional. The integrated approach interacting with panels of Richmond’s best and brightest in the field was extremely helpful in building my understanding of fundraising and raising the quality of the sector. ”

— Victor McKenzie, Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC), Summer 2019

Fund Development Institute

“Whether you have been in fundraising for 10 years, or are brand new to the field, everyone can benefit. You’ll take strategies with you that you can begin applying to your work immediately and can continue to use for many years to come.”

— Amy Dickstein, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Winter 2019

Fund Development Institute

“The Fund Development Institute was simply phenomenal. A one-stop shop for development professionals. Taught by some of central Virginia’s most successful development professionals, you’ll gain firsthand insight into what it takes to succeed in all facets of the development process.”

— Betty H. Adams, Executive Director, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center

  • Named to VAFRE Board of Directors

    Kathy Laing, GC’08 and GC’16, manager of the University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Fund Raising Executives (VAFRE).

Grantwriting & Management Institute

“I highly recommend the week-long Grant Writing & Management Institute. I came in knowing very little about grant writing. I left feeling confident about tackling my upcoming grant writing projects. Along the way, I met new friends and colleagues in the local nonprofit world. I can’t imagine anyone regretting the decision to take this class. It is career changing.”

— Mary Delicate, Delicate Research

Fund Development Institute

“This week was an intense and deeply rewarding experience. I recommend it for anyone in the nonprofit world who is in or contemplating development. It is helpful for people at all levels of the organization and time in the field.”

— Karen Thornton, University of Richmond School of Law

Fund Development Institute

“A meaningful and engaging exploration into all things ‘development’; this is THE course/program to do.”

— Andrew Lunney, Wilton House Museum

Fund Development Institute

“Fantastic comprehensive institute to educate and motivate attendees.... Great faculty and open learning environment to enhance the experience. A ‘must attend’ for all development staff.”

— Amy Harris, Longwood University

Institute on Philanthropy

“I can’t stress how powerful this institute has been for my own professional development. To have the wealth of knowledge in our professors available for our training was so beneficial to our learning. Thank you so much.”

— Fund Development Institute participant

Fund Development Institute

“I have used the Institute on Philanthropy information for months now and it has truly changed the way I interact and write to our donors! I was planning on signing up for the Planned Giving Institute in March.”

— Katherine Bulifant, Longwood University

Institute on Philanthropy

“The Institute on Philanthropy’s instructors are first rate and the classes are a practical balance of theory and real world applications. I would recommend IOP to any nonprofit professional who is looking to build their skills and increase their organizational capacity.”

— Leighann Scott Boland, Director of Development, VirginiaFIRST Robotics

Fund Development Institute

“I just wanted to reiterate how great it was to take the classes. Not only did they provide me with valuable tools but they gave me a number of ideas that I will be talking to my ED [executive director]. I’ve already started running reports in our database to start new cultivations. I can’t thank you enough!”

— Lindsey Leach, Executive Assistant, LINC

Grantwriting & Management Institute “It has been an incredible experience to take a dream and put it to paper and then work with so many people to put it into action. I really appreciate the encouragement and confidence-building that was an integral part of the teaching experience of this grant writing course.”
— Cary Jamieson, Director, Bryan Innovation Lab, The Steward School
Institute Group Photos
Fund Development Institute - Summer 2019
Grant Writing Institute - 2019
Fund Development Institute - Winter 2019