Sara Burke, Development Officer – Donor Relations and Major Gifts, will be presented with the 2019 Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Rising Star Award. CCAE is a volunteer-led organization that promotes excellence in educational advancement and provides opportunities for networking, professional learning and mutual support. The Rising Star Award is presented to an individual that demonstrates achievements, accomplishments, early success and commitment in the advancement field.
“My career has been diverse and I have been privileged to work in various sectors including hospitality, non-profit management and business development. Throughout my professional life, I truly believe the work experience I have gained from these distinct sectors has provided me with skill sets, which have been beneficial in my current role as a professional fundraiser,” says Sara. “I very much love my work and am truly honoured and humbled to be chosen for this prestigious award. I look forward to continuing my important work of supporting students at Cape Breton University.”
In the Development and Alumni department at Cape Breton University, Sara is primarily responsible for the management of the University’s annual awards, endowed scholarships and bursaries, as well as new and current donor and gift agreements. Along with Donor Relations and Major Gifts, Sara coordinates CBU’s planned giving program and plays a lead role in all fundraising initiatives for the institution.
With 20 years of experience in the fields of hospitality, business development and the non-profit sector Sara has gained an abundance of skills and knowledge that have added to her success and accomplishments in the world of fundraising.
“Sara’s contributions and dedication have been instrumental in supporting the work of Cape Breton University’s Development Department,” says Vice-President of Development, Paula MacNeil. “Sara sincerely finds joy in her work and continues to exceed the goals and expectations of her role. Her professionalism and genuine personality see others throughout the University quick to join her on projects and events. I feel extremely fortunate that Sara is part of our team and the CBU family, and we congratulate her on receiving this national honour.”
While being both a CBU employee and a student in CBU’s Master of Business Administration in Community Economic Development program, Sara set her sights on the institution’s advancement goals and has brought an abundance of success raising funds to support student scholarships.
Outside of CBU, Sara most recently completed her Canadian Association of Gift Planners certificate and is currently the co-chair of Leave a Legacy Nova Scotia. She is also in the process of completing her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.
Sara is a highly active member of the community. She is a member of the Sydney Sunrise Rotary club and has been named “Rotarian of the Year” on two occasions. Sara has also been presented the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award – one of the highest honours in recognition of her outstanding contributions, exemplifying the Rotary ideal of placing service above self.
Sara, we are so #CBUProud of your dedication and commitment to the advancement field!