Written By Lilly Watson, staff contributor
Since Clara Barton founded the organization in 1881, the American Red Cross has served the country as the leading emergency response organization. After a year of reorganizing chapters into a regional structure, the Red Cross is moving forward to meet the needs of our modern society, and is once again calling on successful and high energy females like Liz Birlet to lead the initiative. Newly appointed as the chief development officer for the American Red Cross North Texas Region, Birlet joins a seasoned senior leadership team dedicated to advancing their fundraising efforts into the future.
While her resume showcases a successful history in fundraising and senior leadership, it’s Birlet’s passion for people, whether her donors or her staff of 22 employees, that sets her apart.
“I truly believe that every gift matters, whether it’s one dollar or a large gift from a corporation or foundation,” Birlet explained as she shared her plan to come in focusing on all areas of local fundraising. “I want to make sure that we’re paying attention to all of the Red Cross supporters and working to communicate to them in new and engaging ways.”
With a $12.3 million dollar fundraising goal for the North Texas Region this year, Birlet knows it is going to take willingness from her team to approach fundraising in new and creative ways to make this fiscal year a record breaker. Birlet points to some of the more creative fundraising tactics already in place, such as the “Piper the Puppy” campaign, as examples that show why her team is set up for success. “Piper the Puppy” is a stuffed animal that is given to a child to provide comfort after disasters and is sponsored by a donor for a $100 gift. The donor’s name is written on Piper’s paw pad and a postcard is sent to the donor once Piper has been placed in the arms of a child.
“When you think that a donor engagement device as innovative and unique as “Piper the Puppy” was imagined by one of our donors and developed right here in Dallas, I know that I have a team that is dedicated and creative enough to take fundraising efforts for the Red Cross to a new level,” Birlet explained.
Birlet recently relocated to the Dallas area from Chicago where she served the nonprofit sector as a consultant for more than a decade and also held positions at academic research institutes including the University of California, San Diego, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.