Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln was honored Nov. 12 at the 2013 Nebraska Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Nebraska Chapter and held at the Embassy Suites La Vista. The event was part of National Philanthropy Day, celebrated by 125 AFP chapters across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Pansing Brooks received the prestigious Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser award for her tireless efforts to improve the Lincoln community. Since the 1980s, she has been actively involved in numerous organizations including the YWCA, United Way of Lancaster County, Family Service, Partnership for Healthy Lincoln Board and the Lincoln Parks Foundation.
Pansing Brooks’ volunteer fundraising efforts have made a major impact in the Lincoln community in the past 10 years. In 2006, she co-chaired the successful $250 million school bond issue, which provided four new public schools and renovations to numerous existing schools in Lincoln. Then in 2008, she co-chaired the $5 million campaign for Union Plaza, a new urban park as part of the Antelope Valley project. From 2009-13, Pansing Brooks co-chaired a $9.6 million campaign to restore Nebraska’s Centennial Mall, the seven-block connection between the State Capitol and the University of Nebraska campus.
"I have had the great fortune of working with some amazing people on a variety of important projects," Pansing Brooks said. “I have a strong desire to serve my community and state, and making life better for all Nebraskans.”
She has been vice president and co-founder of Brooks Pansing Brooks law firm in Lincoln since 1986. She has a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado College and a law degree from the University of Nebraska.
“Patty’s volunteer involvement has touched so many lives, and has made our world a better place with her tireless work,” said Susan Larson Rodenburg, campaign coordinator for the Lincoln Parks Foundation. “She inspires everyone around her to be more passionate about their volunteerism and working to make a difference in their community.”
In accepting her award, Pansing Brooks thanked her family and her supporters, which included Roger Larson, with whom she worked closely on the Union Plaza and Nebraska Centennial Mall campaigns, and who passed away Oct. 8.
“Roger Larson was a consummate fundraiser, my greatest fundraising mentor and most importantly a dear friend,” Pansing Brooks said. “He taught me that most of us live a good life and we have a responsibility to help those who don’t. The top three lessons I learned from Roger are one, never take ‘no’ personally as the next time it may result in a major gift; two, approach every donor with humility, kindness, gratitude and knowledge; and three, remember that we all drink from wells we did not dig.”
More than 250 people attended the awards luncheon. Other honorees included Project Everlast Youth Councils, Mutual of Omaha and Dr. Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen.
Past recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award given by the Nebraska Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals include Roger Larson, Woody Varner, James F. Nissen, Betiana and Todd Simon, Annette and Paul Smith, Gerald Dimon, Willa and Hod Kosman, Charles and Margre H. Durham, John and Carmen Gottschalk, and Marian Andersen.