Some people know what they want to be when they grow up; doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc. For Bradley alumna Colleen Halberg, her career wasn’t a life-long dream for her, but a realization that came to her in her undergraduate.
Halberg said she enjoys being around people and started at Illinois Wesleyan as a sociology major, but her mother suggested she should double major in business. At an on-campus job in the development office, she got her first experience in philanthropy work.
“I really see fundraising as service, and I love it,” Halberg said.
Halberg got her master’s for institutional advancement and administration in 1993 at Bradley, where she worked from 1989 to 1993 as the director of major gifts and giving.
Her newest position is with the non-profit organization EP!C as their director of donor engagement and major gifts. As of publishing, she has been with the organization for three weeks and has felt welcomed in the environment.
Her new career aligns with her interest in human interactions and giving back. The organization supports people with developmental disabilities through tailored programs in the Peoria area.
“I really see this position as the capstone of my career,” Halberg said. “I’ve had different positions with different types of missions over the years and this one really speaks to my heart and passion about people and serving people.”
Maurice Bresnahan, CEO of WTVP, remembers Halberg working with the station as the director of development. He said that she had the authenticity that brought in supporters to the public television station.
“When someone is living out their own personal values, it helps communicate the sense of mission of the organization,” Bresnahan said. “Colleen believes in the institution that she works for, public tv then and EP!C now.”
Her work in various fundraising positions has led Halberg to see programs maintain and develop through community funding, which she said that anyone can leave an impact no matter how small.
Since EP!C uses state funding, Halberg reaches out to as many donors who can help fund its programs.
“I believe that all of us can support [EP!C] financially, whether it’s $10 a month, or $100 or $500 a month; I feel very strongly about that,” Halberg said. “It’s a message I want to give out, it’s important to give back.”
This article was updated on May 28 at 3:56 p.m.