(Sioux Falls, SD) – Sanford Clinic family medicine physician Michael Olson, MD has been named the South Dakota’s Outstanding Philanthropic Volunteer Fundraiser for 2008 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Dr. Olson was presented with the award during a luncheon October 3 in Pierre.
Dr. Olson has served on numerous non-profit boards in Sioux Falls and led fundraising initiatives at various times on each one. He has been most visible in the fundraising efforts of Sanford Health Foundation, Augustana College, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and The Sioux Empire United Way.
During the Sanford Children’s Challenge campaign to build Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, Dr. Olson was the co-chair of the Physician Leadership Steering Committee. Because of his leadership, over 50 percent of the Sanford Clinic physicians currently support the campaign, with 30 percent participating at the major gift level with a gift or pledge of more than $10,000.
In addition, he once raised enough money to take his son’s soccer team to England. He and his wife, Debby, hosted a Sudanese “Lost Boy” in their home. Dr. Olson is currently practicing at Sanford Clinic Family Medicine 69th & Minnesota in Sioux Falls.
“We live in an incredibly generous area, and this year’s nominations for Outstanding Philanthropic Volunteer Fund Raiser proved once again how freely people give of their time and other resources,” said Jennifer Sanderson, AFP - South Dakota Chapter president. “Dr. Olson’s work stands out because he’s built longstanding relationships with the nonprofits he serves. It’s clear he has a real passion for those causes, and for the role that organizations such as Augustana College, Sanford Health Foundation, and The Sioux Empire United Way have played in his and his family’s lives. He and his wife, Debby, wouldn’t ask others to contribute to a project they don’t believe in or one they haven’t already supported with a gift themselves. That personal credibility is one of the biggest assets they’ve brought to every fundraising campaign they’ve helped lead.”
In addition to Dr. Olson, other Sanford Health Foundation supporters were honored at the awards luncheon.
- Outstanding Philanthropic Business: Citibank South Dakota for its quarter-century of supporting hundreds of nonprofits across the state and for its employees’ commitment to volunteerism.
- Citi has been a long-time supporter of various Sanford Children’s programs, most recently gifting $100,000 to the Sanford Children’s Challenge campaign.
- Outstanding Philanthropists: The Kirby Family — Dan and Arlene, Joe and Jennifer, Kevin and Peggy, and Steve and Suzie — for their collective decades of board service to more than 100 nonprofits, lead gifts to dozens of campaigns and ability to inspire others to get involved.
- Dan Kirby is a current Sanford Health Foundation Board member and a former member of the Board of Trustees. Dan and Arlene were lead donors and co-chairs of Sanford’s Cancer Center Capital Campaign in 2002, were one of Sanford Health Foundation’s first Builder’s Club members in the 1980s and remain strong supporters of many Sanford programs.
- Kevin Kirby is a current Sanford Health Foundation Board member and a former member of the Sanford USD Medical Center board. Kevin and Peggy have been long-time supporters of Sanford, including a six-figure gift to the Sanford Children’s Challenge campaign.
Stacy Bauer Jones | Media Relations Coordinator
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