Critical Connections

by Julie Epstein Bronstein '90

Julie Epstein Bronstein '90Philanthropy, politics, and public policy are much like three siblings squabbling for attention— professionals in these fields fight to break through the clutter of messages blasting from media or landing in the inboxes of movers and shakers to secure action on their cause’s behalf. Alumna Julie Epstein Bronstein ’90 has carved out a career raising the profile and profits of all three—and she’s raising three delightful children, ages 4 to 10, along the way.

Her current focus is on philanthropy. Meeting with her on a late summer afternoon, I found her effectively organizing details for a Jane Goodall event in San Diego on behalf of a local philanthropist and working with a new client, Foundation for Women, a nonprofit that provides microloans to women in San Diego and Liberia. Her desk holds a collection of guest lists, reports, and budget spread sheets.

“Fundraising is an art,” says Bronstein. “Connecting those advancing a cause and those who have the means to support that specific cause is a strategic endeavor. Integrity, credibility, and a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s mission and work are the keys to crafting the connections.”

After graduating from Scripps College, Bronstein earned a master’s degree in public administration from USC with a specialization in intergovernmental relations. From there, she pursued her interest in the political and policy realms, working for both Lt. Governor Gray Davis and Congresswoman Lynn Schenk. She went on to posts that tapped her public policy skills, serving as manager of government relations for the Motion Picture Association of America as it tackled issues surrounding filming and jobs fleeing California. Bronstein later was director of government relations and helped manage the Verizon Foundation’s efforts toward improving literacy throughout California. Her talents also aided the campaigns of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, and California List, a political organization dedicated to helping pro-choice Democratic women become elected to state-wide office.

“I have always been interested in issues and solving problems,” says Bronstein. “I like to help people who feel the same way, with an emphasis on helping the less fortunate.”

Speaking of her work today, Bronstein says: “Focusing on fundraising is rewarding. I am a realist, and I know that advocacy and the good work the organizations I partner with require significant funding to accomplish their goals. Furthering their efforts gives me a great deal of satisfaction.”

 

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