AHP Picks Churchill As New CEO

April 24, 2014       Mark Hrywna      

A former college fundraising executive and Iowa state representative will become the next president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

The Falls Church, Va.-based association announced this afternoon that it has hired Steven W. Churchill, executive director of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, to succeed William McGinly, effective July 1.

McGinly announced his retirement after 30 years with the organization at its annual international conference last October in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He joined AHP in 1983 and will serve through the end of its fiscal year, June 30.

The CEO, who is responsible for management and development of more than 12 employees and a $4.2-million budget, reports to a six-member board of directors and serves as a seventh ex officio member. The seven-member search committee made a recommendation to the AHP board, which met earlier this month to approve a formal offer.

The search committee started by reviewing about 18 candidates provided by Korn/Ferry International, and interviewed three, according to Greg Pope, who chaired the committee. After the final round of interviews, the search committee unanimously recommended Churchill to the board, which also was unanimous in its decision, he said.

“Steve has been well prepared for this position,” Pope said, with his experience in advocacy as an elected official, as well as his experience in development, the private sector and the last seven years at the foundation.

“When we went to look for the candidate, we had some lengthy conversations within leadership and the search committee about what we were looking for,” he said. Originally, there were some divergent opinions about the priority to place on fundraising and development experience. “An understanding of fundraising and the process of fundraising was essential to be able to see opportunities for growth in the association,” Pope said. “His thoughts about future of AHP are encouraging and exciting.”

Churchill, 50, has been executive director of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation in Chicago, Ill., since August 2007. He previously was vice president of development and alumni relations for Des Moines University in Des Moines, Iowa, and served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1993 to 1999. He founded The Churchill Group, a fundraising consultancy for nonprofits and political organizations, from 1993 to 1997. Previously, he was director of major gifts for Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Churchill is a member of the City Club of Chicago and the Medical Society Fundraising Network (MSFRN). His honors include receiving the Commanders Award for Public Service from the Department of the Army and being recognized by the Des Moines Business Record as one of the 40 under 40 top business leaders.

“After 28 years of tremendous leadership by Bill, this organization is probably poised to think differently, step back, and ready for a different type of leadership,” Churchill said. “It’s always exciting to be part of and be in a position to re-examine mission and vision and be part of that,” he said.

“Following in the footsteps of a longtime executive presents an opportunity more than anything. After three decades of one person, people want to reset the deck and look at things. I enjoy coming to organizations willing to examine mission carefully,” he said, and that starts with examining mission, vision and future goals, building a strategic plan from there.

It’s critical that AHP provide customer service and value, and maintain current membership as well as continue to grow throughout North America and beyond, he said. “There are people all across this globe who are turning to the development process, sometimes for first time ever, to enhance their bottom line,” Churchill said.

With changes in health care at the federal level, in the U.S. and throughout the world, people are feeling pressure and hospitals and healthcare providers are looking for additional revenues to enact their programs and services, he said.

The association has been “important for development professionals in the health care arena for last 50 years or so but I know it’s important for their board of directors, stakeholders and staff to take it to the next level, be cutting edge and continue to bring value to the members,” he said.

“The board is excited that Steven Churchill has agreed to join our team and lead AHP at a critical time for philanthropy and health care delivery,” William S. Littlejohn, chair of the AHP board of directors, said in a statement announcing the appointment. “After an extensive search, he is clearly the best person for the job and will be instrumental in providing the profession with essential resources, exceptional experiences and vibrant communities that address the diverse needs of a membership representing North America’s development professional,” he said.

McGinly was given the title of President Emeritus by AHP’s board and will share his future plans in the upcoming month, the organization said. Littlejohn credited him with growing the organization “from a small community of 600 members to the 5,000 members we have today.”

Churchill is a 1985 graduate of Iowa State University, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and is completing a master’s degree in nonprofit administration at North Park University in Chicago, Ill.

AHP did not release details of Churchill’s contract or compensation. As executive director of the AMA Foundation, he earned about $234,000, including a base annual salary of $193,741, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 990 for the tax year ending 2012. The organization had revenues of $4 million that year. McGinly last year earned about $464,000, including a base salary of $300,000, according to AHP’s Form 990.

Founded in 1967, AHP has some 5,000 members, collectively raising more than $9 billion each year. The association’s three-day Convene Canada conference opens Wednesday in Ottawa, Ontario. This year’s annual international conference will be held in October in Palm Desert, Calif.