2019 40 Under 40 Winners

2019 40 Under 40 Logo

Steve Testa

Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation
Columbus, OH

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

1. Steve was a driving force for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Be the Reason fundraising campaign, the largest philanthropic endeavor in the hospital’s history. He became president of the organization and assumed full responsibility for Be the Reason in 2017. The campaign is set to conclude more than a year early and exceed its goal.

2. Steve has helped spearhead the national "On Our Sleeves" marketing campaign designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues.

3. He is one of the youngest chief development officers in North American pediatric hospitals.

4. Steve has been a featured presenter at numerous conferences including AHP International, The Woodmark Group Summit, and AFP.

Q & A

1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

In college, I interned with fundraising consulting firm CCS at a museum in Washington, D.C. CCS hired me after graduation and I worked on a number of charitable endeavors in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. I decided to settle down in the Philadelphia area and landed a major gift officer job at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). 

2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

The values of character, helping others, and being involved in the community were always important to me. I experienced those in philanthropic consulting and afterwards, I was determined to work for a charity where I identified with the mission. My brother and I were both treated at CHOP as children so it was close to my heart. Philanthropy and advancing health care for children is one of the noblest causes, in my opinion.

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

I worked at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC as a college student. A fundraising consultant asked me to be her intern, joking that she really wanted me to say yes because she had no interest in setting up a booth at career day. I had never even heard of “development” but she suggested I give it a try. That random, spur of the moment encounter led to a very rewarding career.

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

My first job as a consultant at CCS taught me a million things. Learning how to create compromise was particularly notable. How to generate consensus among differing opinions and effectively move forwards towards a common goal is an invaluable skill for fundraisers.

5. What are your future aspirations?

I’m very lucky. I love my job and hope to stay here as long as I can. I’m especially excited about our hospital’s focus on the area of pediatric mental health, so we’re aspiring to raise as much money as possible in the coming years for this incredibly important work. 
Steve Testa

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