Thompson & Associates is proud to launch a new podcast series, Conversations with Industry IconsEddie Thompson, CEO and Founder, will bring incredible insight and inspiring stories by interviewing leaders from different perspectives of the fundraising community: education, healthcare, consultants, academics and more!  Hear these professionals tell stories of lessons they’ve learned during their distinguished careers.

This exciting and informative podcast series will include fundraising experts such as Russell James, Sid Mallory, Shannon Duval, Bill Littlejohn, Betsy Chapin Taylor and many more!  We hope these conversations inspire you to continue to strive for excellence in this noble occupation of fundraising!

Listen to the introduction podcast below where Cayce Powell, President of Thompson & Associates, visits with Eddie Thompson about why he decided to share these conversations with his friends and colleagues.  Eddie explains what he hopes fundraisers get out of the series.

Episode 1 

Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP®

September 10, 2019

In the first episode of the series, Eddie talks with planned giving research pioneer, Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP.  Russell is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Financial Planning at Texas Tech University.  Russell shares who you should you be visiting; an important factor to consider when visiting this demographic; in all of Russell’s research, what has changed over the years and what the number one predictor of leaving a gift has been consistently; what the best gift asset is to receive, and how that affects overall giving; how to motivate transformational giving, and more!

Episode 2  

Brian Sagrastano, J.D., CFRE

September 25, 2019

In this episode, Brian shares how his diagnosis of a rare form of cancer has reshaped his focus on charitable planning; how to approach and stay close to supporters facing a serious health diagnosis; and the important lesson he learned focusing on what donors want to accomplish for themselves, their families and the organizations they support, and more!

Episode 3  

Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP

November 8, 2019

In this episode, Eddie talks with one of health care philanthropy’s most provocative thought leaders, Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP, where she shares what she wishes she could change about the industry; how to view donors and what they really wish to achieve; what’s required of us to provide to donors to really create impact, and more!

Episode 4

Bruce Bartoo, CFRE

December 11, 2019

You don’t want to miss this conversation!  In this episode, Eddie talks with Bruce Bartoo, CFRE, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer for MedStar Health. Bruce packs in tremendous insights he’s learned over his career, where he shares what he strives for in his role as a philanthropic leader; what never to do as a fundraiser; what he’s found to be a significant cause for people to be inspired and motivated in becoming more involved in your organization in a meaningful way and how to uncover it, and so much more!

Episode 5

Michael Kenyon

January 8, 2020

Listen in on our Founder and CEO Eddie Thompson’s conversation with industry leader, Michael Kenyon, President and CEO of the National Associate of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP).  Michael shares 2 simple reminders to keep in mind for your day-to-day work as fundraisers.

Episode 6

Steve Orr

January 24, 2020

Listen in with our Founder and CEO Eddie Thompson’s conversation with industry leader, Steve Orr, Managing Partner of the Orr Group.  Steve shares what he’s learned from his 30+ years in the nonprofit industry, having come from New York City’s financial district. 

Episode 7

David Flood

February 20, 2020

Listen in with our Founder and CEO Eddie Thompson’s conversation with industry thought leader, David Flood, Senior VP and CDO for Intermountain Healthcare.  Don’t miss this powerful episode where David shares humble lessons he’s learned in his philanthropy career, including what Eddie calls the most important lesson in fundraising!

Episode 8

Jerry Linzy

March 12, 2020

Listen in as our Founder and CEO Eddie Thompson talks with industry legend Jerry Linzy from Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners, Inc.  Jerry shares the 3 simple roles of a nonprofit’s board, the key question for new board members, how philanthropy today differs from the 1980s, an industry-wide challenge facing philanthropy, and more!

Episode 9

Bill Littlejohn

June 23, 2020

Our Founder and CEO Eddie Thompson talks with one of the nation’s leading health care philanthropy professionals with more than three decades of experience, Bill Littlejohn from Sharp HealthCare.  Bill has led and directed philanthropic programs that have generated nearly a billion dollars.  In this podcast, Bill shares his philosophy and drive for philanthropy, cautions of easy traps to fall into, and inspires professionals what to truly focus on as fundraisers to achieve lasting impact.

Episode 10

Sid Mallory

July 8, 2020

In this series’ tenth installment, hear industry veteran Sid Mallory candidly tell his own stories of mishap on his way to becoming a highly knowledgeable and successful fundraiser.  Listen as the AHP Fellow and former recipient of AHP’s Si Seymour Award explains the lessons he’s learned during his prestigious career.  Sid’s simple reminders will help keep you on a successful track!

Episode 11

Shannon Duval

July 29, 2020

Don’t miss Shannon Duval share practical and powerful suggestions to be a better fundraiser.  She discusses several mistakes early in her career and how overcoming them has allowed her to achieve her current success. 

Episode 12

Charles Schultz

September 15, 2020

With Crescendo’s Practical Planned Giving Conference kicking off digitally today, we took a moment to sit down and talk with Crescendo Interactive’s President and CEO Charles Schultz.

Episode 13

Alice Ayres

October 20, 2020

We sit down with Alice Ayres, President and CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), as they prepare to kick off their Annual International Conference this week, the largest gathering of health care development professionals.  

Episode 14

Lynn Ierardi

November 10, 2020

Eddie talks with 30-year industry veteran Lynn Ierardi, Director of Gift Planning at University of Pennsylvania and consultant with Gift Planning Advisor in this 11-minute podcast where she shares virtues she’s learned that serve her well in the gift planning world, and more!

Episode 15

Larry Katzenstein

December 7, 2020

Join Eddie as he talks with Larry Katzenstein, a nationally-known authority on estate planning and planned giving.  Larry divides his practice between representation of wealthy individuals in estate planning matters and serving as outside counsel to planned giving programs at nonprofits nationwide. 

Episode 16

Nathan Stelter

January 12, 2021

Join Eddie as he talks with 20-year planned giving marketing veteran Nathan Stelter, President of The Stelter Company, where Nathan shares the quality he thinks one must acquire for success; the most important component to hiring a new team member, & more!

Episode 17

Alexandra Brovey

February 9, 2021

For our next industry leader, you likely have one of her books on your shelf.  Join Eddie as he sits down with industry veteran, Alexandra Brovey, to hear what she has learned during her 21 years in gift planning, including what has made a difference in her career that especially resonates during the pandemic—something Eddie points out as the most important lesson in success; 3 simple questions she asks herself when a difficult or uncomfortable situation arises; and, the art of trying too hard to get in front of people.

Episode 18

Mark Larkin

February 24, 2021

Join us as we talk with Mark Larkin, President of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Foundation. Mark has spent 35 years in philanthropy, with the last 20 years in health care. In this 11-minute podcast, Mark shares how you can get much greater levels of giving (for the same amount of time spent); the three components he looks for to replenish his major giving list; the key to a successful fundraising event or capital campaign, and more!


Episode 19

Joe Chickey

March 25, 2021

Eddie Thompson sits down with Joe Chickey, from the Sharpe Group.  Joe’s over 35 years in the charitable arena include diverse roles such as bank trust officer, lead fundraiser, director of gift planning in both the university and healthcare sectors, among others!  Joe shares what he learned when a donor made an eight-figure gift to another charity; what’s critically important to the success of a planned giving program; how to calculate the percentage of planned giving dollars your organization ought to be raising; and, why you should treat donors like family.

Episode 20

Jodi Davis

April 20, 2021

Eddie Thompson spends time with Jodi Davis, Chief Philanthropy Officer with California healthcare provider Sutter Health. In this 9-minute podcast, Jodi shares the approach she utilizes to learn everyday, making life more enjoyable and people and situations more interesting; the three best questions to ask your donors to clarify their needs; knowing when to let donors go; and, the importance of reminding people why philanthropy exists at her organization, and why it’s more important than ever right now.

Episode 21

Fred Najjar

June 8, 2021

We have the pleasure of talking with health care philanthropy thought leader, Fred Najjar, from CommonSpirit Health who shares a multitude of lessons he’s learned in his career such as how to treat others, especially as a leader; what to look for in hiring new talent for his team; how important it is to be a philanthropy advocate at the corporate-level; the value of delegating work and trusting your team; the drive to always better yourself with continuing education and networking a community, and so much more!

Episode 22

Susan Dolbert

June 22, 2021

Join us as Eddie sits down with Susan Dolbert, Senior Vice President with City of Hope. In this 9-minute podcast, Susan shares insightful wisdom she’s experienced in her fundraising career, such as knowing when to say no to a gift; keeping the relationship healthy and positive between a benefactor and the organization; and, learning to trust your gut – your gut is based on experience!

Episode 23

Randy Varju

July 27, 2021

Eddie talks with Randy Varju from Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest health system in the nation. Randy jam-packs a multitude of invaluable wisdom in this 12-minute podcast, such as the true purpose behind philanthropy, beyond metrics and dollars raised; the danger, and lesson learned, in focusing too much on metrics; not to underestimate the reluctance that others have around joining solicitation calls and how to overcome it; defending philanthropy in different ways depending on your audience; and, so much more!

Episode 24

Laurie Kelley

August 10, 2021

We’re delighted to talk with Laurie Kelley this week from Providence, a large health care provider across seven western states.  In this 7-minute podcast, Laurie shares where she finds the bigger dollars, and ultimately donors who want to stay with the organization through the years; where to give yourself grace; how to open the giving doors among reluctant donors; and, how to be a better person and leader by making these kinds of “waves.”

Episode 25

Art Ochoa

September 9, 2021

Join us as Eddie sits down with Art Ochoa, Senior Vice President, Advancement, Chief Advancement Officer, at Cedars-Sinai. In this 9-minute podcast, Art shares what aspect(s) of your job description to focus on to be successful and receive promotions; a caution, and encouragement, for individuals who are ambitious and creative; what trap not to fall into to maximize donor gift potential.

Episode 26

Cindy Atmar

October 28, 2021

Eddie sits down with Cindy Atmar, Executive Director of Trusts, Estate and Gift Planning, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the largest cancer center in the United States. In this 9-minute podcast, Cindy shares a perfect reminder as we approach year-end on what to keep at the forefront of your donor giving goals; what she wishes she would have learned early on in her career; and, what bit of advice she would give someone who’s beginning their career.


Episode 27

Rebecca Locke

December 7, 2021

Eddie is joined by this month’s industry icon, Rebecca Locke, Executive Director of Gift Planning for the American Red Cross, a role she’s held for 22 years. In this 8.5 minute podcast, Rebecca shares what she’s learned from donors; how to serve both your donors and the mission you’re trying to fund; what pressure to take off yourself as a fundraiser; and, Eddie shares a great response to use when you’re asked a question you don’t know the answer to!


Episode 28

Kelli Smith

March 3, 2022

There’s no better way to kick off March, Women’s History Month, than to feature the National Association of Charitable Gift Planner’s new Chair, Kelli Smith! In this 14-minute podcast, Kelli jam-packs 3 critical lessons she’s learned and how she’s achieved them!


Episode 29

Grant Whitney

November 14, 2023

There’s no better way to kick off the relaunch than with experienced charitable gift planner, Grant Whitney. Previously with Harvard for 21 years, Grant is celebrating his first anniversary at Mass General Hospital. In this 19-minute podcast, Grant shares what inspired his work in philanthropy; what he’s learned to appreciate about the work; what he learned from mentors and what ingredients led to his success, and more! He also shares a donor story from Harvard that continues to remind and inspire for excellency in all we do.


Episode 30

Susan Doliner

February 13, 2024

You don’t want to miss this inspiring episode of Conversations with Industry Leaders featuring Susan Doliner from Maine Medical Center. In this 12-minute podcast, Sue shares the priceless key to making a tremendous impact; where the spirit of philanthropy shows up; the most important ingredient in philanthropy; how to overcome imposter syndrome; and more! Sue’s insights are inspiring for all in the fundraising world; from the new gift officer to seasoned leaders. Take a listen!