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$20 million gift from Malin and Roberta Burnham to the Burnham Center for Community Advancement for promoting civic engagement
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$20 million gift from Malin and Roberta Burnham to the Burnham Center for Community Advancement for promoting civic engagement

Philanthropists Malin and Roberta Burnham announced a $20 million donation to their two-year-old Burnham Center for Community Advancement to spur the organization’s mission of promoting civic engagement.

The BCCA has been instrumental in such initiatives as the designation of San Diego-Tijuana as World Design Capital 2024 and a renewed focus on the fiscal and governance sustainability of Balboa Park.

“My work with BCCA is some of the most important I have ever done,” said Malin Burnham, who built a successful insurance and real estate business before turning to community engagement and philanthropy. “Community Before Self is more than just a motto or the title of a book I wrote, it is the ethos I live by.

“BCCA will carry that banner going forward by bringing people together and helping to move the entire region forward,” he said. “Nobody can do it alone; we have to work together if we want to get the hard things done.”

The nonprofit is positioned as a “think-and-do tank” based on the premise that through community engagement, vigorous dialogue, research, data, and best practices, it can be a platform for community and government leaders to collaborate and move the region forward.

Mayor Todd Gloria praised the organization for its work, saying, “I’m happy to see this investment by the Burnhams to ensure the organization will be able to sustain this important work for many years to come.”


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