United Way director of gifts wears message

Richard Popilowski has joined the staff of United Way of Coastal Fairfield County as director of Individual and Major Gifts. Popilowski brings with him more than 40 years of experience in fund development.

“I am excited to be part of a great team of committed and caring professionals and deeply honored to work with them to build upon the rich history of the United Way in strengthening our communities,” Popilowski said in a press release.

“I hope that I can make a difference for the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s mission of caring for children at risk in the communities we serve,” he added. “ he added. “Nothing can be more important than seeing that all children have the opportunity to learn, be healthy and grow up to be productive members of our society.”

Popilowski serves as a board member for the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation, chairman of the board of the Fairfield Foundation for Education, as secretary on the Fairfield Fire Commission and member of the Rotary Club of Milford.

He is so committed to seeing that philanthropy remains an important element for each one of us that he displays his license plate “Donate” to remind everyone to support the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County and other favorite charities.

“We are thrilled to have Dick on board,” said Merle Berke-Schlessel, president and CEO of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. “His knowledge of the community and his fundraising experience will be invaluable to us as we strive to meet the challenges we continue to face in the communities we serve.”

The United Way of Coastal Fairfield County covers Bridgeport, Stratford, Trumbull, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien and New Canaan. Information can be found at unitedwaycfc.org.

Popilowski began his career at Central Connecticut State University, his alma mater, then served as director of Alumni Relations at Fairfield University. After 14 years at Fairfield University, he worked as director of Development and Public Relations at St. Charles Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Port Jefferson, N.Y .

He then became president of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation, where he developed a plan of action that encompassed all elements of the development program, including direct mail; patient, trustee, physician, and employee giving; major gift solicitation; grant making and corporate and foundation

Richard Popilowski

Richard Popilowski

giving. In addition to having a $6 million annual fund campaign, Popilowski also completed a $20 million capital campaign, the first in Bridgeport Hospital’s history.

Popilowski has also used his fundraising experience in several other foundations and hospitals, including St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Nantucket Cottage Hospital and most recently as director of Development of the Milford Hospital Foundation.

He resides in Fairfield with his wife Michele.

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