Meet Our Award Winners: Miyoko Brunner
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 Miyoko Brunner, who was named one of this year's Rising Stars.
WITNESS (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Organization's mission: WITNESS (www.witness.org) uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. WITNESS empowers people to transform personal stories of abuse into powerful tools for justice, promoting public engagement and policy change.
Annual operating budget: Approximately 4 Million
How much raised annually: Approximately 3.7 Million
Role models: My most significant fundraising role model is Elizabeth Dickinson. She has been my manager, mentor and friend. She's a smart, strong, hardworking and compassionate working mother and fundraiser. She trusted me with opportunities and guided me when I needed help. I love her passion, eloquence and strength. She has been and will continue to be an inspiring role model and a close friend.
Why did you choose fundraising as a career: My junior year at Carleton College, I had a fundraising internship with a small community service organization, the Hough Foundation. I spent several months helping put together a major fundraising event. I discovered that not only did I enjoy working with an amazing organization, but I had found a job that perfectly complemented my strengths as a social person. I've always been a person who organizes events in my own friendship groups. After seeing firsthand how an organization like the Hough Foundation affected the lives of the families within the community, I was hooked.
Greatest fundraising challenges: Myself. It's easy to burn out in fundraising. There's always more than you can do. Sometimes I overcommit myself to projects and try to take on too much. Fortunately, I work with a great team of people who look after each other on a personal level and willingly pitch in to help on a workload basis. The present economic environment is a significant challenge, but one of the good aspects of it is that it forces all of us to think about new and different things we can do.