Philanthropy educates and celebrates at 8th annual summit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 8, 2019) – The eighth annual Dignity Health Philanthropy Education Summit was held in Newport Beach, Calif., on February 7 and 8. The summit brought together over 200 participants from all 29 Dignity Health affiliated foundations, Dignity Health hospital leadership, peers from Catholic Health Initiatives, and leaders in the philanthropy field. 

Shannon Duval, Senior Vice President, Philanthropy, CommonSpirit Health and Fred Najjar, Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, CommonSpirit Health emcee the Dignity Health Philanthropy Phillies Awards.

Growing stronger together

The summit is an opportunity for philanthropy staff to develop skills in areas that will enhance their support of our local hospitals. Professional development sessions at the summit covered a wide range of topics, including grateful patient fundraising, online fundraising, event planning, philanthropy communication, and the ethics of philanthropic work.

In their first appearance as CEOs of CommonSpirit Health, Lloyd Dean and Kevin Lofton delivered organizational updates and messages of serving all people in need, especially those who are vulnerable due to poverty and other hardships. They stressed the importance and role philanthropy has in continuing the legacy of Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives by actively advocating for positive social change.

Alice Ayres, president and CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, gave a closing keynote address about trends in philanthropy and the how each attendee could affect a positive change toward a culture that lifts up philanthropy as an act of gratitude and healing. 

Celebrating philanthropic excellence

Phillies AwardsThe Dignity Health Philanthropy Phillies Awards.

A highlight of the summit each year is the Phillies Awards, a celebration that recognizes the efforts and accomplishments the foundations have achieved in the prior year.

“The Phillies Awards is a time to recognize the transformational work of our foundations in each of their communities. This is our opportunity to come together as a ministry and celebrate the collective positive change that is happening because of our donors and philanthropy team,” says Fred Najjar, executive vice president of philanthropy and chief philanthropy officer of CommonSpirit Health.

The awards were in the categories of: Quality Improvement, Top Performing Service Area, McTernan Spirit Award, Largest Philanthropic Gift, and Foundation of the Year.

The nominees for Quality Improvement were Dignity Health Foundation - Inland Empire, St. Joseph’s Foundation - Phoenix, and St. Joseph’s Foundation of San Joaquin. The winner was Dignity Health Foundation - Inland Empire with 26 percent improvement in transfers over the previous fiscal year, 59 percent improvement in cost per dollar raised, and 136 percent improvement in fundraising revenue. 

The Top Performing Service Area criteria is based on combined service area results. The nominees were greater Sacramento area, Nevada, and Southern California. The winner was the Southern California service area comprised of California Hospital Medical Center Foundation, Dignity Health Foundation - Inland Empire, Glendale Memorial Health Foundation, Northridge Hospital Foundation, and St. Mary Medical Center Foundation - Long Beach. This service area had a fundraising revenue of $37.1 million, a 9 percent increase from fiscal year 2017, $.22 cost per dollar raised, $19 million in transfers to their hospitals, and a fundraising revenue per full-time employee of $1.2 million.

Paul Richardson, President, Sequoia Hospital Foundation, Interim Vice President, Dignity Health Foundation, receiving the McTernan Spirit Award.

The McTernan Spirit Award was created to honor one foundation employee each year who embodies dignity, collaboration, excellence, justice, and stewardship. The awardee was nominated by their peers and selected based off of those nominations by a committee. This year, Paul Richardson, president of Sequoia Hospital Foundation and interim vice president of Dignity Health Foundation was honored for his compassion, humor, and willingness to assist anyone within our ministry.

The nominees for the Largest Philanthropic Gift were Barrow Neurological Foundation, Glendale Memorial Health Foundation, and St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation. The winner was Barrow Neurological Foundation with a $25 million pledge from The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation in support of the testing of drugs on glioblastoma tumors, the most deadly form of brain cancer.

The Foundation of the Year award is presented to the foundation that met its cost per dollar raised metric, transferred at least two times its operating expense to its hospital, and had a well-balanced fundraising program. The nominees were Marian Regional Medical Center Foundation, Northridge Hospital Foundation, and St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation. The winner was St. Rose Dominican Health Foundation.

The 2020 Philanthropy Education Summit will be the largest yet, bringing together philanthropy staff from CommonSpirit Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, and Dignity Health to build healthy communities, advocate for those who are poor and vulnerable, and support how and where healing can happen—both inside our hospitals and out in the community.