Michael N. France, CFRE
St. George, UT
Why is a 40 under 40 winner
1. During Michael's tenure at Cedar City Hospital, overall fundraising to the hospital tripled. He also successfully revitalized the annual Foundation Gala and Golf Tournament and
quickly doubled the dollars raised for that event.
2. Following a promotion to a larger hospital and foundation in St. George, Utah, Michael has been instrumental in securing large gifts for the hospital’s capital campaign, which doubled the size of the hospital and added a new cancer center.
3. He gives back to the profession of philanthropy by serving on the board of the Southern Utah Estate Planning Council and by regularly mentoring gift officers and directors from other organizations.
4. Michael is successfully making the case to a university's college of business to establish classes on philanthropy for both bachelor and master level classes, and make them a required part of certain degree tracks.
Q & A
1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?
I started my career in nonprofit work after my father battled cancer at a local cancer center. He was an old cowboy that was going to “tough it out”. We had to march him in grudgingly every day for his treatments. He won that round with cancer but ultimately passed away a few years later. I was grateful for the gift of extra time we were given by the caregivers who by then had become dear friends. After learning how the cancer center was started and funded by philanthropy, I wanted to give back too.
2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?
Some of the most poignant moments of our lives happen within the walls of a hospital. I had the surreal opportunity to experience both extremes of a hospital in the same night. While my father was in the ICU taking his last breaths, just down the hall my niece was born taking her first breaths. Health care philanthropy allows you to impact those families and their loved ones for the better by paving a healthier path for future patients, help save lives, and deeply touch all walks of life: rich, poor, young and old.
3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.
Early in my career in philanthropy, I was introduced to a patient my same age. He expressed his gratitude to some new equipment that I had fundraised for and how it impacted him and his family. It was easy to put myself in his shoes since we both had big dreams and a young family. I was deeply moved. At that moment I knew without a doubt I had found my calling and it cemented my path.
4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?
My first job was a bag boy at a local grocery store. I learned that I love hearing about people’s stories and how easy it is to talk to new people by simply smiling and listening.
5. What are your future aspirations?
Health care is rapidly changing and evolving. Philanthropy will play a leadership role in this fast-changing landscape. I hope to be a part of the leadership that spearheads that transformation. I also wish to inspire and mentor a new generation of fundraisers.