Susan Sutton is a seasoned C-Suite nonprofit executive with a proven track record of institutional advancement, developing and implementing fundraising campaigns and business operations to achieve multi-billion revenue goals from domestic and international clientele.
Over the course of her professional career Susan has demonstrated innovative and dynamic leadership, strategic vision and operational management expertise in a variety of settings from small grassroots to large complex, public and private, academic, research and patient care institutions as well as national advocacy and membership organizations, with domestic and international audiences. More than half of her career was spent with three iconic institutions, the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine (now National Jewish Health), Penn State University and Johns Hopkins University, each recognized internationally for their areas of expertise, as well as best practices in institutional advancement. In Canada, she has served as the President of the OCAD U Foundation, President of the Baycrest Health Sciences Foundation and Chief Development Officer of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the 2nd highest grossing (of more than 170,000) nonprofit organization in Canada.
Most relevant to the consulting space is her experience serving in a leadership capacity, building and implementing robust, sustainable and seamless continuums of development and alumni relations activity through direct marketing, annual fund, foundation and corporate, major, principal and planned gifts programs, and planning, developing and implementing organizational structure and all operational matters for a range of campaigns, the largest and most significant, the $2B campaign for Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Susan has proven to be adept at developing fully integrated business plans and cases for support, establishing goals and high performance metrics, managing human resources, communications, government relations, stewardship and advancement services, including budget preparation, financial tracking and the management of multimillion dollar endowments. Susan’s ability to build teams, with a commitment to excellence and diversity and train, mentor, manage and lead senior staff, is a recognized area of strength, which has led to outstanding team performance.
Throughout Susan’s professional experiences, she has partnered with and engaged top institutional and volunteer leadership, faculty, physicians, researchers and scientists to apply innovative, incisive strategy and creativity to identify, vet, cultivate and solicit a range of donors and to identify key fundraising priorities and the next “big idea” to transform the institution. Susan has a personal track record identifying, cultivating, soliciting and securing gifts from principal and transformational donors, including the donor who made the largest single cash contribution in the history of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
In many instances Susan’s role was to enhance existing institutional advancement programs and in doing so, she developed a clear appreciation for, and understanding of the role of culture in change management, and the imperative to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. Susan has successfully negotiated the complexity of institutions and has represented their vast body of work to grateful patients and alumni, prospects, donors and stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally, now having lived, worked or traveled in over 80 countries.
The firm is a natural evolution of her career of more then 30 years when Susan interfaced with, and was the client of, many of the top industry consultants. Susan believed that a better model could be developed to more accurately and effectively meet the needs of the nonprofit sector, resulting in the concept of the Innovation Team Model.
University of Colorado, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Professional, Consulting and Volunteer Experience by Sector
- Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Executive Director Institutional Giving/Director Principal Gifts, Maryland
- Baycrest Foundation, President, Toronto
- Baycrest Health Sciences Centre, Vice President Global Institutional Advancement, Toronto
- National Jewish Health, Associate Director Major Gifts/ Manager Foundation and Corporate Relations, Colorado
- Denver Children’s Home, Director of External Affairs, Colorado
- de Souza Institute, Consultant, Toronto
- Centre County Woman’s Resource Center, Consultant and Advisor to the Board, Pennsylvania
- Denver General Hospital Emergency Room, Volunteer Rape Crises Counselor, Colorado
- Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) Foundation, President, Toronto
- Penn State University, Director of Development, New York Office of Regional and Leadership Gifts, Pennsylvania
Community Based Membership and Advocacy
- Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Chief Development Officer, Toronto
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), NAMI Research Institute, NAMI Anti-Stigma Foundation, Director of Development, Washington, D.C.
- Center to Prevent Handgun Violence & Handgun Control Inc., Director of Development, Washington, D.C.
- Human Rights Campaign Fund, Director of Development, Washington, D.C.
- Aspen Institute Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), Consultant, Washington, D.C.
- EPOColorado, the Equal Protection Campaign, Consultant and Finance Director, Colorado
- Equal Protection Ordinance Coalition, Consultant and Finance Director, Colorado
- Legacy Foundation, Board Member, Washington, D.C.
- Colorado NARAL, Board Member, Colorado
- Colorado Association of Senior Citizens, Board Member, Colorado
- Dames for Humanity Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Group, Founding Member, Toronto
- Josie Heath for US Senate, Consultant and Director Political Action Committee Fund-Raising, Colorado
- Pena for Denver, Finance Director, Colorado
- Ben Nighthorse Campbell for Congress, Fund-Raising Director, Colorado
- W Mitchell for Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Campaign Coordinator, Colorado
- Stratton, Reiter, Dupree & Durante, Campaign Consultants to Presidential Candidate Gary Hart, Colorado
Arts and Culture
- Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U), Vice President Global Institutional Advancement, Toronto
- Factory Theatre, Board Member, Toronto
- Colorado Legislative Council, Colorado General Assembly, Research Analyst, Colorado
- Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting, Fiscal Note Processor, Colorado