Ben Brannaman ’09, Lisbon

A word that brings together Ben Brannaman’s work and volunteer efforts is “raising,” as in raising funds for nonprofits in his career and raising up the needs of others in his community and church.

After graduating from Wartburg in 2009 with a degree in business administration, Brannaman started a career in nonprofit fundraising with the University of Iowa Foundation and was part of the development team that completed a $50 million campaign for Iowa’s first free-standing children’s hospital. A highlight for him was working with Wartburg College Dance Marathon to sponsor a room in the new Stead Family University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2017. Now, on the fifth floor, a preparation and recovery room bears a plaque with Wartburg’s name.

Answering a calling to work with Christian ministry, Brannaman became director of development for the Eastern U.S. with The Navigators, an organization focused on sharing the gospel message, developing disciples through relationships and encouraging spiritual growth across life stages. In July 2019, he became area director of donor relations for Compassion International, a child-advocacy ministry focused on releasing children from extreme poverty in 25 countries around the world.

Brannaman uses his skills in fundraising to benefit his community, too. “As our school foundation president, Ben has raised many thousands of dollars to make sure each building has what they need to see every student succeed,” wrote his nominator. “He helped raise over $200,000 in a matter of two to three weeks to help fully fund a project within the school’s new performing arts center.” When the community of Mount Vernon was raising funds for a new community center, Brannaman’s leadership helped raise over $2 million to get to the goal.

At Veritas Church in downtown Cedar Rapids, Brannaman is invested in raising up others in faith by teaching the Bible to kids and leading adult studies. “His commitment to Christ is one of the most genuine I’ve seen, and his practical application of that faith has great impact on all that come around Ben,” wrote his nominator.

When needs arise around him, Brannaman raises his hand to help. He has used his expertise on the development committee at Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center in Cedar Rapids and serves as the philanthropic adviser for Eastern Iowa FCA. He’s also the race director of his local Heritage Days 5K. He and his wife, Brittany, live with their children, Riley, Reese, and Brody, in Lisbon.