Case Study 

Nathan Chappell, Senior Vice President, Office of Philanthropy
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center

Transition Management, Staff Development and Individual Coaching

Published: March 2018


City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. For nearly 100 years, our pioneering research has brought the world closer to cures. Designated as an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope’s research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation.

In 2015, City of Hope wanted to create a plan to retain and harness its fundraising staff and talent. The organization hired KDD Philanthropy (whom they still work with today) to provide support and leadership in the areas of transition management, on-site staff development training, and individual coaching. Kathy Drucquer Duff worked closely with Nathan Chappell, Former Senior Vice President of Philanthropy, to create and implement these opportunities.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

Nathan and Kathy identified the individuals within his team that would benefit from individual coaching, and then created a coaching plan that would unlock their leadership potential.

City of Hope asked Kathy to serve twice as interim Associate Vice President of Philanthropy (once in the area of major gifts, once in the area of donor engagement and stewardship). Kathy served in the role during a period of senior management transition. She was available to develop staff on a regular, ongoing basis.

Nathan believes Kathy’s extensive experience and personality brought an element of stability and consistency to a period of transition. He believes this is one of things that differentiates Kathy from other coaches and consultants.

Many consultants have a lot of experience in one area (e.g. campaign planning). But Kathy brings with her a wide array of experience and her skillset is multi-faceted. In addition, most consultants don’t want to invest their time doing individual coaching. Kathy can pivot from coaching to management to creating organization charts and plans. She is all in!


For Nathan personally, one of the results of Kathy serving in the interim role was that he was able to lead his department and team’s daily operations without disruption or their work being impacted.

Kathy being in that role was a big relief for me so I could do my regular job knowing I had someone that the team could go to and rely upon. She was in the role for one year, and ended up coaching a person into the leadership role.

Nathan also admits the result he is most pleased with is how Kathy’s coaching of a City of Hope senior major gift officers.

This individual had been working at City of Hope for eight years at the time. He had a lot of potential, but it was not being harnessed in a way that would make him a successful leader. Kathy worked with him for ten months and we saw a significant shift in his approach and leadership. He ended up rising to a new level of leadership and was promoted to Associate Vice President and is doing phenomenally well.

I’m proud we grew our team from within the organization, and Kathy helped us have the conversations and spent that time each week helping him (and others) unlock potential. She did not just keep things working during a leadership transition; she also helped grow the team.

Kathy continues to be a trusted consulting partner with City of Hope, more than two years after the initial project began. The longevity of this relationship speaks volumes about how City of Hope believes Kathy provides exceptional benefit to the organization and its Office of Philanthropy.