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Leah Heister

Leah Heister is a Senior Director with CCS Fundraising. At CCS, she has advised consultative projects for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Wagner College, and Weill Cornell Medicine.

Prior to her current role at CCS, Heister served as the Associate Director for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their New York City office. During her time at St. Jude, the organization grew from raising $600 million annually to over $1 billion during the 2015 fiscal year. Here she managed a team of development professionals who drove strategy and fundraising objectives of the organization in the greater New York and New Jersey area. In addition, she helped to oversee high wealth planning, as well as the strategic partnerships based in the area.

Previously, she held the role of Director of Development for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. Here she managed a personal portfolio of over 150 significant prospects and donors – driving the development of strategy throughout the donor solicitation and cultivation process. In addition, she worked closely with the St. Mary’s board to help identify and strengthen the organization’s fundraising pipeline as they prepared to begin their next capital campaign.

She is a graduate of Knox College in Galesburg, IL with a degree in Political Science and International Business. She received her Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University in the City of New York. She is a founding member and past co-chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Young Professionals Group and currently serves as a member of AFP’s Professional Advancement Committee. She received the National Young Professional of the Year Award from AFP in 2017.