David Ripple, Vice President of Philanthropy, Trinity Health Michigan-Southeast Region
Dr. John S. Lore Award for Fundraising Executive
Nominated by Trinity Health Michigan-Southeast Region
David Ripple awardee video
For nearly thirty years, David Ripple has served and led philanthropy in southeast Michigan and beyond. Initially starting his career in 1993 with Angela Hospice, Dave has gone on to successfully lead some of the largest fundraising shops and campaigns in our region. He continues to work with donors, leaders, and fundraisers in his current role as Vice President of Development for Trinity Health Michigan, Southeast Region where he oversees the philanthropy team in major and planned gift work, communications, advancement services and donor experience for five hospitals in the region. Dave's entrepreneurial drive, combined with his nearly 30 years of experience, make him a successful, progressive, and experienced fundraiser and leader.
What sets Dave apart as a leader in the fundraising community is his sense of integrity and a keen understanding of how important a people-centered focus is to successful fundraising programs. His breadth and diversity of fundraising experience allows him to understand all the nuts and bolts of an advancement team and how these pieces work together to meet the donor and the organization's needs.
For example, at Trinity Health Michigan, Dave developed and led a complete reorganization of the development team in 2019 to move away from event-based fundraising to an industry best-practice major gifts model. Never one to shy away from change or a challenge, he undertook this reorganization knowing that implementing a new system is so much more than simply changing the fundraising model. He led this change with an investment in the front-line fundraising team, just one example of Dave combining best practice systems with people at the forefront, both donors and fundraisers.
He has held a series of senior positions, always rising to the challenge at hand, sometimes in the face of difficult circumstances. Dave is leading his team through new ways of working with donors from direct fundraising to donor experience, all while navigating unprecedented pressures in the fundraising and health-care industry. In 2020 and 2021, St. Joseph Mercy Health System led Trinity Health as the top fundraising ministry in the country, raising money for front line workers and emergency COVID relief, with record numbers of new donors to the system.
In his role as Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs and President of the Wayne State University Foundation, Dave was a member of the President's cabinet and worked closely with local governments and community leaders as a trusted advisor linking the needs of the University with available external resources. Understanding the important role that philanthropy plays in the realization of transformational programs and initiatives.
Outside of his professional roles, Dave is a life-long volunteer and community advocate. He is a longtime resident in the Plymouth/Canton Community and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Educational Excellence Foundation and was a member of the Lutheran Social Services of Michigan board. He has been married to his wife Julie for 25 years. Dave and Julie are the proud parents of two adult children, Shelby and Lindsay.