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The RISD Fund invites alumni, parents and friends to support RISD’s mission to provide a world-class art and design education. Gifts to the RISD Fund pay for scholarships, faculty, academic programs, equipment and technology, and co-curricular student activities. By contributing to the RISD Fund, you can help ensure that today’s emerging artists and designers will have the resources they need to become creative leaders.

You may direct your RISD Fund gift to support:

RISD’s Greatest Needs

The practice of art and design is always evolving, and so must the education RISD provides its students. Your generosity will give RISD the necessary fiscal strength and flexibility to address emerging priorities and leverage new opportunities.

Financial Aid

In the past decade, RISD has seen a 46 percent increase in first-year applications and the number of students who qualify for federal financial aid has jumped by 57 percent. Your gift will augment scholarships that make RISD a viable choice for talented students with limited financial means.


To take full advantage of all that a RISD education has to offer, every student should have the same access to purchasing quality materials for studio projects, embarking on RISD travel courses and gaining valuable professional experience through internships. Your gift will help make the RISD educational experience an equal one for every student.

Academic Programming and Faculty

You can help strengthen RISD’s library, divisions, departments, labs and centers, offer new academic programs and make seed funding available to faculty for developing new projects. Your donation will deliver funding for RISD to support innovation across campus.

Equipment and Technology

Makers are never content with the status quo. Creative practitioners develop new methods, adapt equipment for new purposes and design new technologies that have profound impact on art and design practice. Your gift will make it possible for RISD to ensure that our students and faculty have access to the latest equipment and technology to advance their practices.

Student Life

Life at RISD is not only about the studio and the classroom. Today’s students are building community by singing, publishing zines, playing sports, fighting for social justice, exploring other cultures, networking in their fields, helping local children and so much more. Your gift can help students pursue interests and projects beyond the curriculum.


Advance RISD’s mission and accessibility by supporting the RISD Museum, founded alongside the college in 1877.

The 1877 Society

1877 Society logo

RISD was founded in 1877 by an act of philanthropy. Members of the Rhode Island Women’s Centennial Commission made a gift of $1,675 to found a school of art and design. The 1877 Society is comprised of philanthropic-minded alumni, parents and friends dedicated to supporting RISD. Today, generous leadership donors provide the resources necessary to attract and support the best students and faculty, offer state-of-the-art facilities, integrate new equipment and technology into studios and classrooms, and support dynamic student activities. We invite you to join The 1877 Society:

Trustees’ Circle $25,000 and above
President’s Circle $10,000–24,999
Deans’ Circle $2,500–9,999
Founders’ Circle Five years of consecutive giving at any level

For more information, please contact Joanne Ferchland-Parella, Senior Executive Director of Development, at or call 401 454-6431.

Multiyear commitments

President’s Scholars

Your $60,000 gift, paid over four years or less, will include a $12,500 annual scholarship to help fund each year of a student’s journey through RISD. It will also provide an additional $2,500 each year for the student to apply toward materials, travel or internships. You will have the opportunity to meet and receive personal communications from your scholarship recipient.

RISD Scholars

Your commitment of $50,000, paid over four or fewer years, will fund the unmet needs of a single undergraduate student for all four years of his or her RISD education. You will be invited to meet and communicate directly with your scholarship recipient.

Deans’ Scholars

Your gift of $25,000, paid over as many as five years, will be divided evenly between supporting RISD’s Greatest Needs and a restricted fund of your choosing—including materials, travel or internship funds to support students in a specific division or department.

Cornerstone Scholars

Your commitment of $10,000 will be paid over four years and provide critical support to advance RISD’s mission. Half of your gift will be allocated to RISD’s Greatest Needs, and you may designate the remaining portion to a restricted fund of your choosing—including divisional, departmental, materials or travel funds.

Get in touch

Please call toll-free 844 454-1877 or email for more information about how you can support the RISD Fund and direct your gift to support what matters most to you.

Other opportunities to give

Support our students

Increase scholarships and fellowships and advance social equity so students with limited financial means can benefit from all that a RISD education has to offer.

Invest in faculty excellence

Support the extraordinary teachers and makers who are shaping RISD’s next generation of artists and designers.

Empower campus transformation

Build the best environment for learning and making by investing in RISD’s studio, classroom, gathering and living spaces.