A fundraising leader with national and international experience and a demonstrated commitment to human rights has been hired as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).
Mena Gainpaulsingh will also act as a member of the CMHR's executive team as both organizations align their efforts for donations and sponsorships that support human rights education and awareness through the Museum. She will move to Winnipeg from Ottawa to begin her new position on April 3.
Gainpaulsingh began her career in the human rights sector, managing a capital campaign in the United Kingdom to build a new treatment centre for torture survivors. She moved on to fundraise for Rights of Women, which provides support for women experiencing violence and discrimination. She then worked with the International Fundraising Consultancy, relocating to Canada in 2010 to establish a Canadian chapter before starting her own Ottawa-based firm. Gainpaulsingh, who holds a law degree from the University of South Wales, also sits on the steering committee for Prime Minister's Row, which is working to develop Canada's first street museum. She has volunteered for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Building on the tremendous success of their major capital campaign to make the Museum a reality, the Friends are transitioning to a fundraising model focused on generating support for CMHR educational and public programs, exhibitions and projects, as well as ongoing and future capital needs. The Friends organization is being restructured under a new operating model that reflects this approach, working in close alignment with the Museum and integrating the practices of both organizations.
Guided by the vision of Israel Asper, the leadership of Gail Asper and the support of the Asper family, the Friends raised over $151 million from over 8,000 donors to help build the CMHR – a feat unprecedented in the history of fundraising for any national cultural institution in Canada. This unique approach to funding the Museum's construction along with government support allowed Winnipeg to become the home of a world-class cultural institution and architectural icon that is now attracting attention and visitors from across the country and around the globe. To date, over one million people have visited the museum, with 65 per cent coming from outside Manitoba last summer.