Leading Good Blog

Empowering Leaders for Greater Good

Leading Good with City of Hope

Posted by The Leading Good Team | Aug 9, 2017 1:39:39 PM

Emily Parris Sandler is the Director of Digital Philanthropy at City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Rod speaks with Emily in the podcast about her role at City of Hope and her thoughts on digital fundraising and engaging younger audiences.

You can also listen on iTunes, Sound Cloud, or Stitcher.

Founded in 1913, City of Hope has always been in the business of delivering scientific miracles that make lives whole again. By combining leading-edge science with true compassion and personalized treatment for each and every patient, scientists at City of Hope have a single, shared goal: to eliminate cancer.

Emily really built her career by developing online fundraising programs for different nonprofits. Today, she directs the digital philanthropy program at City of Hope. When she was hired in 2013, City of Hope had been around for exactly 100 years. Emily knew her primary task was to establish an online giving program.

“When I was hired, we knew we needed to develop a new kind of stream of revenue for City of Hope, looking at replacing that aging model. So from that kind of really broad directive, we were able to establish first our DIY fundraising platform and then move that onto realizing a full digital philanthropy department and program,” she explains to Rod.

Emily and City of Hope found peer-to-peer fundraising to be a powerful asset for their online giving campaign. Since so many of their survivors want to give back in some way to the organization that saved them, starting their own online fundraisers to share with family and friends is a perfect fit.

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City of Hope donors are able to create their own fundraising page through this P2P giving program called "ourHope." This empowers donors to become advocates, taking responsibility to spread the mission of City of Hope to their spheres of influence with their own personal experience, emotions, and passions.

On the podcast, Emily shares powerful stories of how successful P2P has been, specifically for engaging younger audiences. In her work, Emily also focuses a lot of her time on all parts of the online experience for donors. She prioritizes donor communications, personalizing their messaging depending on how the donor met City of Hope or where they are on their journey with City of Hope.

Emily and Rod agree on the critical importance of learning how to connect with your donors in a significant way.

“It's really just about engaging these fundraisers on a deeper level and kind of finding the right place for them within our pipeline and ecosystem at City of Hope....ourHope and being a fundraiser is really not the end of their journey with us; it's really kind of the beginning,” Emily explains.


Check out the rest of the podcast to hear more about how to effectively engage your current donors to keep them connected and growing as advocates of your cause. Emily also shares powerful insight on digital fundraising, storytelling, and more. You don’t want to miss this!


With each new episode of the Leading Good podcast, Rod and Hugh will offer their thoughts on some of the key takeaways from the conversation. Episode 23 features Emily Parris Sandler, Director of Digital Philanthropy at City of Hope.

Topics: Storytelling, Fundraising, P2P

Written by The Leading Good Team

Rod Arnold is CEO of The Frontier Agency. You can learn more about Rod and his work at RodArnold.com. Hugh Weber is CEO of The Institute of Possibility and curator of The Potluck Society. You can learn more about Hugh and his work at HughWeber.com.

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