Even With Pandemic Challenges, Scottish Rite Fundraiser Finds ‘Incredible Blessings’

If you’ve been involved with fundraising at the same nonprofit for 17 years, it stands to reason that you have seen a lot during that time.

But like most fundraising professionals, Scottish Rite Hospital vice president of development Stephanie Brigger found herself navigating the wild world of pandemic-style philanthropy this year – especially when the hospital had to move its major fundraiser, Treasure Street, to a virtual format.

“We engaged with our friends that have been part of the event for 25 years, but also made some new friends,” she said. “So it is different, but we are adapting and continuing to really stay in touch. And the other thing we found with many people being isolated, that there is more time to talk and they are really excited and happy to hear from you. There’ve been challenges, but I know that there’ve also been incredible blessings in the work that we do.”

Brigger said her organization has historically enjoyed creating lasting relationships with donors.

“We will turn 100 this year, and you look at this long history of taking care of hundreds of thousands of kids and families, without charge,” she said. “It’s just a unique mission that is very fun and very easy to make friends and raise money for the hospital.”

Brigger, who lives in West Highland Park, will be honored as Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals on Nov. 13 at a virtual celebration that coincides with National Philanthropy Day. The event, which will be emceed by longtime “The Stars of Texas” luncheon host Scott Murray.

Brigger has been able to parlay her background as a registered nurse to lead at Scottish Rite and manage a development office of 16, overseeing all of the hospital’s “friendraising activities.” She is also on the board of Ronald McDonald House Dallas and Camp John Marc.

“Stephanie Brigger is a consummate professional who is well-known and well-loved not only at Scottish Rite Hospital but also in the community,” said Deborah Montonen of Mary Crowley Cancer Research, who nominated Brigger for the honor. “Devoted to the fundraising profession and committed to all of those she serves, her fundraising and friendraising records are equally impressive.”

Honorees at the event include Mary and Carl Ice (Outstanding Philanthropists), David M. Crowley Foundation (Outstanding Foundation), Toyota of North America (Outstanding Corporation), and Natalie Dossett (Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser).

Tanya Downing and Benjamin Vann co-chair the Stars of Texas virtual luncheon.

“While our 35th-anniversary event will look very different as a virtual event, it is perhaps more important than ever,” said Downing. “The community depends on the support, passion, and commitment of individuals and organizations such as those represented in this stellar list of 2020 award recipients.”

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Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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