2020 40 Under 40 Winners

2019 40 Under 40 Logo

Christina Knowles

Good Samaritan Foundation–Dayton
Dayton, OH

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • In April 2017, the president of Good Samaritan Foundation–Dayton unexpectedly resigned, and Christina immediately stepped up as the leader, guiding the team to the most successful year for dollars raised since 2011. They raised more than $1.1 million in contributions, an increase of 60% from the prior year’s total.

  • In 2019, Christina led the first system wide Employee Giving Campaign of over 13,000 employees which included implementing a new text to give campaign, recruitment of 38 employee ambassadors, coordinated 6 campaign events and presented at 18 department meetings, which resulted in more than $360,000 raised.

  • She built, maintained, and supervised a robust grant program which has collectively garnered more than $1.2 million in funding in the past 5 years.

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

While earning my bachelor’s degree in Technical and Professional Writing, I took a grant writing and fundraising course. I instantly knew I wanted to use my writing skills to further the mission of organizations who serve vulnerable populations. I was incredibly fortunate to join Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation right out of college, and I soon learned the vital role health care philanthropy plays in people’s live and the tremendous impact that donors make.

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

I always wanted to find a career where I could make a significant impact on people’s lives and healthcare is something that touches all of us. The opportunity to work each day to enhance the health and well-being of my community is an honor. I was fortunate to have mentors who supported me, nurtured my passions and provided me with growth opportunities. Healthcare philanthropy is the most rewarding work, both personally and for those we serve. I’m so grateful to have a career that is rooted in equity, compassion, and the transformative power of philanthropy.

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

In 2016, I was hired as Director of Development for Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. I took a leap of faith that turned out to be the best decision I could have made for my career journey. I am so grateful to have colleagues who helped me learn, encouraged me to challenge myself and supported my balance of work and life. Soon after taking the position, I found myself the only fundraiser on my team, but my passion for the work and sheer determination guided us to the most successful year for dollars raised since 2011. This achievement played a critical role in furthering my career and keeps me motivated to continue to work hard to fulfill our mission. 

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

In high school I worked as a hostess at Spaghetti Warehouse, a local Dayton restaurant that attracted a diverse group of customers and employees. I quickly learned to adapt to changes, analyze and manage situations, and the importance of treating everyone with kindness and compassion. Working there also taught me the value of team work and how to be a great customer.

5. What are your future aspirations?

I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of others, particularly vulnerable and underserved populations. Growing up in a city that taught me first-hand the hardships faced by underserved communities has instilled in me a passion for philanthropic work that provides access to high quality healthcare for everyone. I aspire to work toward a more equal and just world for all.

Find Christina on LinkedIn. 
C_Knowles Headshot-resized

Fun Fact:

In 2006, I was involved in establishing Gem City Roller Girls, a women’s flat track roller derby league in Dayton, Ohio.

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