Richard T. Mannisto (slideshow photo 1)
director of mission advancement
Wisconsin Lutheran High School
"A lot of people are good fundraisers," writes Pamela Mattox, partner at the McDonald Schaefer Group. "I want to recognize Rich for his unparalleled enthusiasm and energy for the work, and his ability to inspire the same in others."
No one can deny the importance of an infectious attitude when it comes to being an asset at any job. But in addition to that, Rich Mannisto has led the development program at Wisconsin Lutheran to new heights in annual giving and has been instrumental in the school's $5.5 million major-gifts campaign.
"He has quickly become an expert in major gifts, and planned-giving cultivation and solicitation," Pamela writes. "He is out of his office calling on donors in person every week, and his gift-closure success is about 85 percent."
More importantly, however, "it helps that he believes in the mission, but his real gift is his genuine sense of calling, his ability to help others find joy in giving."
Rebecca Panfile (slideshow photo 2)
director, The Audience Project,
Drama League of New York
Rebecca Panfile took over her position as the programmatic head of audience development and donor programs for the Drama League's Audience Project just when the economy was tanking.
Despite — or perhaps because of — that, –and with little training as a fundraiser, she "has approached her tasks in dazzlingly original ways, previously unimagined by her predecessors," writes Gabriel Shanks, executive director of the Drama League of New York. "Her focus on attentive, focused donor interactions has the precision of a surgeon's scalpel but is never over-calculated. She brings a warmth and a personal style to each conversation that has cemented our funders and actually increased our new members."