Katrina Bradley is a talented fundraiser whose career almost never came to be. As a stay-at-home mom in 2001, Bradley spoke up after she noticed fundraisers at her daughter’s school were “old and worn out.” Six weeks later, she was managing the school’s $18.8-million capital campaign for the construction of a new facility and organizing its 150 volunteers. “I told them, ‘You’re either crazy, or you see something special in me that I didn’t know I had,’ ” she recalls.
Passion and presence is what prompted Bradley to land the job. There are no airs about her. She engages everyone immediately and fully. She is genuine and real. “I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and say, ‘If I were them, would I support this?’ ” she says.
In 2005, Bradley’s abilities brought her to the University of Calgary, where she continues her philanthropy-related work raising funds for the Faculty of Social Work, and managing its community and alumni relations.
Last year, Bradley exceeded her annual development revenue target from a goal of $450,000 to $2.6 million and established a $3-million research chair, bringing in a professor who works with the community by addressing social work concerns – things like helping to educate front line social workers in preventing domestic violence. “It’s the Cadillac of research chairs,” she says.
Next on Bradley’s radar are several charitable gifts, ranging from $1 million to $16 million. They include a $10-million housing and homeless initiative and a $16-million donation to call a faculty in a donor’s name – which should become a reality in the next few years. “It’s an amazing thing to help people find an initiative that matches up with them.”
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Calgary West PC
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