National Philanthropy Day Honoree — 2017

Bert and Suzie Colianni

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers

Bert and Suzie Colianni


Our 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers Bert and Suzie Colianni’s spirit of generosity has resulted in raising millions of dollars that have deeply impacted the well-being of children and families, schools, the arts and cultural community and directly benefited Minneapolis – Saint Paul’s civic organizations for over four decades. As volunteer board members and fundraisers, they are as generous as they are humble with joyful giving of their resources, time and talents. Executive Director of Pohlad Family Foundation, Susan Bass Roberts, reflects, “Two extraordinary people stand out in their openness to see, learn, try new methodologies and be agents of change. Bert and Suzie Colianni are true leaders whose fundraising, passion, work ethic and determination are making real change in our world.”

Suzie is described as “the kind of board member that every president and development director dreams of” with an authentic and straightforward approach that have made her an exceptional volunteer fundraiser. Suzie serves on the Friends of Ascension Catholic School’s Board, having helped oversee a successful $15 million capital campaign. She was also instrumental in the 2016 formation of a consortium of schools now known as Ascension Catholic Academy where she serves as board chair. Her past fundraising involvements have included multiple year efforts for Breck School, Middlebury College, and Our Lady of Lourdes Church amongst others.

Bert is an animated and passionate advocate. Bert inspires others to become personally involved in charitable projects and non-profit board work. His friends will tell you his excitement and commitment makes it hard for them to say no! Bert maintains extensive commitments supporting the Twin Cities community. He currently serves as board chair of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, as a member of the executive committee of the board of Greater MSP, and as a trustee for Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Minneapolis. He has served as board president of the Breck School Board of Trustees, and as board chair of CommonBond Communities, the Downtown Council of Minneapolis, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation, and the Minneapolis Club. Most recently he also served on the campaign committee for Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Center.



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