Meet Our Award Winners: Matthew Bregman
In our February issue, Fundraising Success named the winners of our 2010 Fundraising Professionals of the Year Awards. In this recurring "Meet Our Award Winners" series in the Advisor, you will have an opportunity to learn more about these distinguished nonprofit professionals and their unique perspectives on fundraising. Here, meet Matthew Bregman, who was named one of this year's Fundraising Stars.
Director of development
El Museo del Barrio (New York, N.Y.)
Your organization's mission: El Museo’s mission is to present and preserve the art and culture of Puerto Ricans and all Latin Americans in the United States. Through its collections, exhibitions and publications, bilingual public programs, educational activities, festivals and special events, El Museo educates its public in the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history.
Annual operating budget: For the current fiscal year, our budget is approximately $7.8 million.
How much raised annually: Approximately $5.8 million.
Role models: In terms of nonprofits, I have two main role models. The first is Karen Hopkins, under whom I worked for five years at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Karen is a brilliant, funny person who drives relentlessly toward her goal with passion. I learned from Karen that you must feel strongly about your cause and then follow every thread until you reach a “yes” or a “no.” Most people, in every line of business, allow lots of half-baked ideas to collect around them. Karen bakes them all the way through. And, just as important for me, Karen does it by being herself — no pretense or artifice.
My second role model is Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center. I’ve gotten to watch Reynold work a bit because his wife, Elizabeth, is on our board and chair of our development committee. Anyone can see that Reynold has brought together a dozen separate organizations to conduct a breathtakingly successful billion-dollar-plus campaign goal. But what amazes me is that no matter how busy he is with his enormously complex challenge, he makes sure to write personal, heartfelt thank-you notes the day he receives a new gift. If Reynold can manage to do that at his level, then the rest of us have no excuses.