Kennedy Catholic has hired a new director of advancement to grow the fundraising program and engage alumni. Jennifer Rignani, a recent transplant from Pittsburgh to Transfer, Pennsylvania assumed the role on February 15.
Rignani is a graduate of Duquesne University and most recently was the director of communications for the Duquesne University School of Law. Over the last 25 years, Rignani worked in fundraising and marketing roles in a number of organizations including St. Edmund’s Academy, the YMCA and Outreach Teen and Family Services. She has also worked as a freelance writer for magazines and newspapers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, and Atlanta. The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools is a regional college preparatory Roman Catholic school system of the Diocese of Erie from Preschool through Grade 12. Like most nonprofit organizations,
Kennedy was hit hard over the last year due to COVID restrictions which forced cancellation of the
organization’s two largest fundraisers.
Rignani will address multiple short-and long-term goals focused on alumni, current families,
community partners and the foundation community. Kennedy Catholic boasts nearly 7,000 alumni and
serves families from: Sharon, Hermitage, Farrell, Sharpsville, Greenville, Reynolds, Mercer, Grove City,
New Castle, Franklin, Rocky Grove, AC Valley, Poland OH, Youngstown OH, Hubbard OH and Brookfield,
Together with the the Board of Directors and President Mark Ferrara, Rignani will be creating
opportunities for alumni to reconnect with the schools. One of the first outreach activities will be the
formation of a speakers bureau. Parents and alumni will be invited to speak to students about careers
and their paths after high school.
Securing corporate and philanthropic grants, designing an annual campaign, and identifying
named giving will also be a focus. Rignani said, “There is so much potential here to grow our fundraising
program. The connections to the school are there, we just need to reach out and help folks get
Rignani is married and has three daughters. Her youngest daughter is a ninth-grade student at
Kennedy Catholic. Her journalism has been recognized with three recent Golden Quill Awards. For her
social justice work, she has been recognized by The City of Pittsburgh, The Pennsylvania Department of
Housing and Urban Development and the YWCA. Rignani has twice been recognized for her fundraising
success by The American Cancer Society and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
“We are so pleased that Jennifer will join our team. She has demonstrated success, plus her
experience is a unique blend of fundraising, marketing, and journalism which we felt was a winning
combination. She will lead us into the future and tap into the potential we know we have,” said Kennedy
Catholic President Mark Ferraro.