When Dara Burke was about five years old, she witnessed extreme poverty for the very first time when her family moved to Nairobi, Kenya.
Her passion and commitment for helping people gain access to basic rights and be treated with respect and dignity came from that those early years, as well as through her realization of the many obstacles and gaps in services for people like her eldest brother, who is intellectually disabled.
“I take fundraising for Concern very seriously. If you don’t hit a goal, lives are impacted.”
“Every person, no matter who they are…should be entitled to respect and have access to services that help them achieve positive outcomes in their lives,” Dara said. “I take fundraising for Concern very seriously. If you don’t hit a goal, lives are impacted.”
Dara, 33, started her non-profit journey at Action Aid International and then joined Concern Worldwide in 2006. She’s since worn many hats at Concern, as Assistant to the Executive Director, Liaison Officer both in New York and in N’Djamena, Chad, and Development Manager responsible for the strategy and execution of six major annual fundraising events, major gift solicitation and direct mail.
Currently Dara heads up Concern’s Individual Giving team in New York, which includes major gifts, special events, employee giving, and monthly giving.
She believes how Concern approaches its work is what sets it apart. “We really are among the first there, and the last to leave.”
Dara, a French speaker, was born in Geneva, Switzerland to two Irish parents. Her family lived in Bahrain, France and East Africa before moving to the United States. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in French from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Science in Fundraising Management from Columbia University.
She believes how Concern approaches its work is what sets it apart. “We really are among the first there, and the last to leave,” she said, “and innovation is very important — we are always trying new approaches. Plus, we don’t make it just about us. We recognize that partnering with others is how we can create lasting change.”