By Drew Fox Jordan • May 19, 2020

Fundraiser Hero Stories: Inova Health System

When it was clear that COVID-19 was beginning to spread in early March, Chief Philanthropy Officer and Inova Health Foundation President Sage Bolte immediately launched a comprehensive effort to provide support for pandemic-related needs facing the Northern Virginia-based healthcare system.

Inova Health System’s team celebrates food donations from local restaurant

Her energy and commitment inspired Suzy Quinn, Executive Director of Philanthropy, West Region, and Amy Richards, Executive Director of Philanthropy for Inova Schar Cancer Institute. With an “all hands on deck” approach, they deployed their fundraising teams to support the health system in new ways.

Inova Health System Employees Receive Supply Donation From Local Foundation

“We were so awe-inspired by our community’s generosity, and knew we could help make an impact for Inova’s frontline heroes,” said Quinn. “Doing it meant we had to become strategically reactive and completely re-engineer what we do on a day-to-day basis.”


Inova’s team of fundraisers made a quick pivot to focus efforts on supporting the health system’s clinical teams during the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily by soliciting donations of personal protective equipment (PPE), physically picking these donations up from locations around the region and organizing meal donations for hospital staff. Quinn and Richards collaborated with their teammates across the Foundation to create a process that immediately made an impact on the health and well-being of the medical professionals on the front lines.

Curtis Allred, an Inova Health System Grateful Patient and Local Restaurant Owner Generously Provides Meals to Inova Teams

Fundraisers at heart, Inova’s team tracked every single donation so they could immediately begin the stewardship process and thank those who found ways to give during this crisis. In addition to this work, Inova’s fundraising team created an emergency fund that inspired more than 1,100 donors to give in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m looking forward to cultivating the relationships we developed as a result of the COVID-19 response because the people who found it in their hearts to give during this crisis will help us to continue building the world-class health care organization that we have here at Inova, which thrives and survives on philanthropy,” said Richards.

Do you have stories of frontline fundraisers rising above the challenges of COVID-19? Share with us and you could be featured in our next newsletter.


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