Gersende de Pontbriand
Initially trained as a musician (violinist) and musicologist at Oxford University, Gersende spent the fist years of her career working in international music festivals and major art organizations such as the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
As philanthropy took a new start in France in 2003 (major tax incentives were introduced), she chose to specialize in fundraising and joined the Lyon Opera House as Director of development for 6 years while completing a fundraising certificate at ESSEC Business School. In 2010 Gersende was nominated Executive Director of the Culturespaces Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to facilitating access to the arts and cultural heritage for disadvantaged children. At the same time Gersende founded the fundraising advisory firm Mécène Invest, delivering strategic advice to nonprofits clients such as the Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation or the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles. Gersende also works as an advisor for corporate clients and individual philanthropists. She has collaborated with UBS Bank Wealth Management France, supporting ultra-high net worth clients.
In 2022, Gersende joined Women United, United Way in the United States managing
a portfolio of 800 female leaders and philanthropists in Virginia.
She has recently moved to Asia where she is working as an advisor for non-profits and corporate foundations.
Gersende has an extensive experience in fundraising with individual and corporate donors, patrons’ cultivation, and events organization. Her international experience gives her a unique and broad perspective on the philanthropic sector.