This past year was certainly a roller-coaster ride for both the economy and the philanthropy landscape with the Giving USA Report on Giving showing the first decline in years, including a marked decline in individual donors giving to charity. Philanthropy is always about the glass being half full, with great opportunity in 2024, yet as professionals we need to both understand and overcome the challenges that we face. The Master Class team has identified five challenges – and opportunities in 2024 where we can continue to elevate philanthropy for our institutions and communities, as well as advance professional development, competency and ultimately success.

Leadership in philanthropy is most often developed through working and sharing with others.  These leaders have experienced extraordinary success at their institutions and owe their success to what they have learned from each other.  And now they want to share those learnings and experience to continue to elevate the practice of philanthropy. During this complimentary 90-minute webinar, the leaders will share perspective on the following major dynamics in philanthropy.

Master Class Session 2: Navigating the Philanthropy Landscape in 2024

  1. Talent, Tenure, and Succession Planning. There continues to be challenges in recruiting and retaining high-performing philanthropy professionals. Tenure is required for programs to become highly productive and in the next decade several of the chief development officers who built philanthropic programs will be transitioning without a clear succession plan.
  2. The Donor Crisis. This is a nationwide crisis in the decreasing numbers of donors to all organizations. Acquisition and retention rates have fallen, signaling a much greater need for focused pipeline development for long-term major gift success.
  3. The Digital Transformation of Philanthropy. For many organizations online gifts now comprise most of their contributions. The digital transformation will only continue, requiring programs to have technology and platforms to both engage donors and raise funds.
  4. (Health Care Focus) Strategic Alignment of Philanthropy in a Challenging Environment. Health care represents one-fifth of GDP in the US, and philanthropy has always had a tenuous foothold as a strategic funding source; that is challenged further with the economic challenges of health care; all organizations can learn from the importance of institutional strategic alignment of philanthropy.
  5. The New Dynamic of In-person, Hybrid, and Remote Work and its Long-term Impact. For decades, philanthropy has operated both in teams of people working together, almost entirely in-person and on location in organizations. There are no studies or research to know the impact on philanthropy (and professional and career development) of programs with a vastly different structure than just five years before.

While some of the webinar will be geared towards health care philanthropy, many of the principles and concepts shared will be applicable across industries.

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About the Host & Presenters

Eddie Thompson, Ed.D., FCEP

Eddie Thompson, Ed.D., FCEP

While Eddie attended Vanderbilt University in the 1970’s for his doctorate degree, the country was experiencing hyper-inflation. Inflation was rising faster than universities could raise tuition. Eddie wrote his dissertation on fundraising in higher education comparing the 13 most successful organizations with 13 less successful organizations. 

From his findings and own experience working in development shops, Eddie formed Thompson & Associates in 1996 with a unique values-based estate planning model.  It provides a way for people to dedicate the necessary time to consider important life decisions and to engage in thoughtful discussion that leads to optimal results for supporters, their families, and their favorite organizations.  

Eddie has planned thousands of estates, which has generated billions of dollars to charity during his thirty plus years working with nonprofits.  He speaks to organizations from coast to coast on successful fundraising techniques, nonprofit management and charitable estate planning and has garnered many honors during his distinguished career.  

Bill Littlejohn

Bill Littlejohn

Senior VP and CEO // The Foundations of Sharp HealthCare

Bill Littlejohn is one of the nation’s leading health care philanthropy professionals. With more than three decades of experience, Littlejohn has led and directed philanthropic programs that have generated nearly a billion dollars. 

Littlejohn joined Sharp HealthCare in 2002 as senior vice president and chief executive officer of the Foundations of Sharp HealthCare. He oversees the entire philanthropic program for Sharp, and under his leadership, Sharp has generated more than $300 million in philanthropy and launched ENVISION: The Campaign for Sharp HealthCare, a $2 billion investment in the future of health care in San Diego.

David Flood

David Flood

Senior VP & Chief Development Officer President // Intermountain Foundation

Recognized as an industry thought leader, Dave Flood shares his knowledge with charitable organizations and forums throughout the United States and abroad. 

Dave joined Intermountain Healthcare in 2013. As Chief Development Officer, Dave drives innovation through the direction and oversight of Intermountain Foundation, a comprehensive healthcare fundraising network designed to meet needs of Intermountain’s hospitals, and related healthcare services.


Susan Doliner

Susan Doliner

Vice President of Philanthropy // Maine Medical Center

Sue is one of the nation’s leading health care philanthropy professionals. Sue has led philanthropic programs that have generated nearly half a billion dollars throughout her career.   

Sue joined Maine Medical Center in 1990, building a distinguished career in philanthropy over more than three decades, including shaping one of Maine’s most comprehensive development programs at Northern New England’s largest health care provider Maine Medical Center and The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center.  

Andrew Bennett

Andrew Bennett

Chief Development Officer // Kaleida Health

Andrew is an energetic, creative leader, fundraising guru and community advocate with nearly fifteen years of experience working in the philanthropic sector of Buffalo, NY and beyond. From youth development to focusing on underserved communities, enrichment programs to health care, Andrew has worked and collaborated with numerous organizations and institutions to creative best-in-class fundraising initiatives and impact.

Andrew is Chief Development Officer for Kaleida Health, which includes The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation and the Kaleida Health Foundation, supporting philanthropy across Kaleida Health, the largest employer and health system in the region, covering all eight counties of WNY and northern Pennsylvania.

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