Institute for Charitable Giving

Philanthropy CountsImportance of the CEO
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Importance of the CEO

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Everyone should have a Ron Werft!

Ronald C. Werft is the President and CEO of Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara (California). It is an outstanding healthcare provider.

Over the years, the hospital had done very little fundraising. Actually, philanthropy was not particularly important.

But times change. It was determined to launch a campaign for $100 million. They ended up raising $110 million. Suzanne Dalston was the able Vice President of Advancement who did the planning and helped perform the magic that raised the funds.

But back to Ron. Over a five-year period, he met every Monday (every Monday!) with Suzanne and the volunteer leader who headed the campaign. He attended every campaign breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every single one!

He estimates that over a five-year period, he gave 35% of his time to the winning of the campaign. He also estimates that he gained 1.5 pounds for every $10 million that was raised.

Wouldn’t you love to have a CEO who is willing to give that much support to your fundraising effort? Oh, by the way— he says his involvement in the campaign was just plain fun. Perhaps that’s the secret.


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