Associate Director, Foundation and Institutional Advisory

Margaret Borrasso

Doing good by doing well

I’m firmly grounded in the belief that we are given talents and experiences meant to help others. I find purpose and joy in supporting nonprofits as they pursue mission fulfillment by empowering financial and organizational health and wellness.

What has inspired you to stay at Bernstein for as long as you have?

I’m a Bernstein “boomerang.” When I began my career here, I was immediately drawn to our philanthropic advisory services. I relished working with generous clients who were positively impacting the community. Eventually, I followed my passion for helping others and took on a full-time fundraising role at a Chicago nonprofit, Midtown Educational Foundation. I learned so much there and absolutely loved being out in the field every day. So, when I was offered the opportunity to come back to Bernstein to develop and enhance our firm's Endowment and Foundation Advisory Services team, I said "yes!" Being on a national team committed to marshaling the firm’s resources to support our communities excites me. Now, instead of supporting one nonprofit, I work with hundreds as well as generous donors across the globe. I help organizations become more efficient and effective, they reach more people, those people live richer lives… and well, that’s a pretty amazing thing to get to do for a living.

Tell me about the types of clients you work with.

As a former professional fundraiser and lifelong volunteer and donor, I wholeheartedly believe that Endowments, Foundations, and Nonprofits are critical to the economy and strengthen the social fabric of society. They do so much, all while strapped for adequate resources.

Mission-driven organizations have unique needs due to complex governance models, distinct development goals, and a reliance on the generosity of volunteers and donors. Still, despite differences in mission, vision, location, and size, organizations face similar financial and organizational challenges. Having walked in their shoes, I empathize with the organization's challenges, understand their complexities, and enjoy tackling all of their knotty intricacies. It’s inspiring and an honor to support the employees and board members who tirelessly serve. Whether it is a faith-based institution, social services program, professional society… well you get the gist… if they have a mission, I’m here to help them fulfill it.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

Aside from my unbelievably great parents, I fully attribute much of who I am (primarily the good parts!) to the time I spent at Regina Dominican High School and the lifelong friends I made there. Regina is an all-girls school that inspires young women to lead and serve. I feel fortunate to have grown up in a household that placed a high emphasis on servant leadership through examples of action. This value was only strengthened by my time at Regina where I further cultivated the desire to be a person for others. It was there I developed cheerful confidence in my own abilities and cultivated a commitment to excellence. It was there I developed an appreciation of an education grounded in academics, virtue, and character. All of these factors contribute to my passion for partnering with organizations, like Regina, both as a professional and in my free time. I am proud to work with organizations that profoundly impact the lives of individuals and entire communities.


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