American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter Chief Development Officer Geri Wright received the 2013 Outstanding Fundraising Executive Award. She was honored Nov. 13 during the Association of Fund Raising Professionals Greater Arizona Chapter Leadership Awards dinner at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. She was lauded for her successful fundraising efforts at the Red Cross and other nonprofit agencies.
“Geri’s leadership ensures that your Red Cross is funded to be there when disaster hits, or when a military family needs help,” said David Emerson, CEO of the Phoenix Region of the American Red Cross.
“Geri Wright has brought national attention to the Grand Canyon Chapter, making the chapter the sixth-top American Red Cross region in the nation, behind New York City, Chicago and other top major markets in the country,’’ said Frank Bourget, Grand Canyon chapter major gifts officer who nominated Wright for the award.
Wright raised $8 million in annual funds this past year at the Grand Canyon Chapter, nearly doubling the $4.3 million fiscal year 2013 annual budget. She secured the largest unrestricted gift ($5 million annually) to the American Red Cross in fiscal year 2013 in coordination with an American Red Cross Region in California. She successfully managed three annual campaigns at the American Red Cross, realizing $14 million cumulatively for fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013. She is responsible for a $6.3 million annual budget for fiscal year 2014.
“Geri restructured the development department at the Grand Canyon Chapter, hiring six development professionals to focus on relationship building that changed the culture of giving at the American Red Cross,’’ Bourget said.
Her leadership includes establishing and managing a 14-member American Red Cross national giving club ($10,000-plus annually) of women leaders (Tiffany Circle) at the Grand Canyon Chapter. She also leads staff and volunteers to operate the Red Cross HOPE store.
Prior to the Red Cross, Wright helped increase unrestricted contributed revenue by 43 percent at the Heard Museum from 2004 to 2010.
Her community involvement includes being a 2013 Valley Leadership graduate and a 2008 American Express Non Profit Leadership Academy graduate. She is a current board member of Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship and a former board member of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Arizona. She volunteers with the American Red Cross and received the 2012 Grand Canyon Chapter Volunteer/Staff Partnership Award. She also financially supports a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Valley.
Wright launched her development career 18 years ago as a development associate at Camp Boggy Creek in Florida before moving to Arizona, where she has worked at the Aid to Adoption of Special Kids, the Arizona Science Center and the Heard Museum.