Bonnie Osinski, Fundraising Consultant
“While my father worked for the Catholic League for Poland, managing the American postwar relief, buying people out of camps, we discovered that he was also a spy! He was given two death sentences under Stalin, narrowly escaping.”
Meet Bonnie Osinski. Bonnie is a proud New Yorker and civic leader whose work in the fundraising profession – for nearly forty years – has enabled nonprofits to achieve their missions by strengthening their ability to solicit and maintain revenue that assures their long-term stability. An MPA graduate from NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service before it was a thing, she has worked with large and small organizations, including local, national, and international nonprofits. Her clients have included: African Population and Health Research Center, Dress for Success, and the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees. Four years ago Bonnie co-founded NY Nonprofit Connect, an organizational member of Civic Hall. Bonnie recently began studying French at the Alliance Francais because she spends so much time at Cafe du Soleil, her neighborhood watering hole, where everyone knows your name – except in French! You can connect with her via LinkedIn or email.
What Does She Do?
Bonnie has been a fundraising management consultant since 2012. Before that, she was Chief Development Officer for organizations such as @The National YWCA, Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Graham Windham foster care, The Glaucoma Foundation, and CAMBA. She works with nonprofit organizations to help them find the right mix of fundraising vehicles to fit their missions and their ideal constituencies.
What Projects Is She Working On?
Bonnie is very passionate about her current work for The Sato Project, an organization that rescues abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. She is also affiliated with a consulting practice that assigns teams of experts in various fields to provide holistic service to nonprofit organizations. As part of this group, she is working on a proposal to an urban planning organization.
How Did She Get Into This Work?
“While my father worked for the Catholic League for Poland, managing the American postwar relief and trafficking money and buying people out of camps, we discovered that he was also a spy! He was given two death sentences under Stalin and narrowly escaped.”
Bonnie inherited her interest in human services from her father. He headed the American relief effort for Poland after World War II. He later became Vice President for Community Relations at the M&T Bank in Buffalo, her hometown. After college, Bonnie attempted to follow her father’s footsteps in social work but found that the one-on-one therapeutic relationship did not suit her. After receiving an M.P.A. degree from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, she began working with nonprofits on government and private grant proposals and expanded into full-service fundraising management.
How Did She Come To Civic Hall?
Bonnie introduced Friend of Civic Haller Peter Shanley — a family friend from Buffalo — to NY Nonprofit Connect. He, in turn, introduced NYNC to Civic Hall and enabled it to join as an organization.
What is She Reading/Watching/Listening To?
“Anand Giridharadas’ “Winners Take All” was an eye-opener for me. I’ve spent more than 35 years working often with wealthy people or their foundations. The idea was: “They’re philanthropists, they’re good.” I think that it’s a very timely book. At this point — looking at this – I’m struggling with my position of helping my orgs to get the money that’s available, while at the same time taking a macro look at this system. I don’t know where I am on this right now.”
Bonnie is also a self-admitted news junkie, consuming the New York Times, Morning Joe, Rachael Maddow, and Bill Maher. For personal enjoyment, she enjoys the fiction of Elena Ferrante, T.C. Boyle, Hillary Mantel, and George Eliot. “Big Little Lies on HBO is [also] a current guilty pleasure.”
What Is Her Ask of Civic Hall?
“To be part of a community where people from a wide range of professions and perspectives share ideas and engage in productive discourse. Also, to meet a lot of cool people.”
Bonnie has contributed much to the Civic Hall community.
This past April she taught, “Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices for Fundraising” at an afternoon Lunch and Learn.
She is also a loyal fan of WeSparq, we meet Friday mornings at Civic Hall:
“WeSparq is a small group of smart, people dedicated to becoming more effective in their professional lives. Each week we review our progress or lack thereof, our successes, and our challenges from the week before. We hold ourselves to specific accomplishments for the week ahead. WeSparq has helped me gain valuable perspective on how I view and manage my professional – and sometimes personal – life.”
Bonnie has offered to hold office next fall to meet with members who have fundraising questions.