2021 Fundraiser of the Year: Bri Seoane
Fundraiser of the Year
Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area
Vice President, Development & Strategic Partnerships
The COVID-19 pandemic put a variety of financial strains on nonprofits. For Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, it was facing a $1.4 million shortfall due to event cancellations and volunteer restrictions. However, Bri Seoane, the nonprofit’s vice president of development and strategic partnerships, knew that the sick children and the families her organization supported still needed housing, food and lifesaving pediatric care. As her mantra goes, “More money, more mission, more families served.” Her impressive fundraising results landed her as NonProfit PRO’s Fundraiser of the Year.
Seoane previously served as the organization’s director of programs and operations, so she combined her background with her mission-driven approach to strategic partnership development to launch a new service to increase revenue and avoid cutting programming. Feed the Love allowed food providers and philanthropists to feed families at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Between October and December of 2020, the program served 10,500 meals with help from partnerships with World Central Kitchen and Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation. With more than 15 food provider partners, the program has continued, serving more than 17,000 meals this year.
To make up for zero revenue from events, Seoane implemented a new donor database, email marketing system, paid social media strategy, website and virtual events (we also honored her marketing colleague here). Her story-driven fundraising and enhanced donor stewardship efforts helped to spur a 67% increase in individual giving and exceeded the organization’s fundraising goal by $1 million. Her data strategies played a role, too. While major gift revenue improved by 300%, overall, using analytical tools to identify potential donors directly resulted in a first-time gift of $150,000.
Amanda L. Cole is the editor-in-chief of NonProfit PRO. She was formerly editor-in-chief of special projects for NonProfit PRO's sister publication, Promo Marketing. Contact her at email@example.com.