National Spotlight

Three CommonSpirit Health philanthropy professionals recognized in the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s 40 Under 40 list 

Chicago, Ill. (September 13, 2023) – CommonSpirit Health’s Zahra Nealy, Jeremy Riley and Charanjit “CJ” Singh have been named as members of the 2023 Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) 40 Under 40 list.

The 40 Under 40 program is designed to recognize future leaders within the health care philanthropy community. AHP is honoring this select group of 40 young professionals because they are shaping the future of the health care development industry. Collectively, they are changing the world — one act of philanthropy at a time.

Honorees will be celebrated during AHP’s Annual International Conference taking place in Orlando, Florida, September 20 through 22, 2023.

“I am proud that CommonSpirit has been well represented in AHP’s 40 Under 40 list for the last six years,” says Nancy Bussani, CommonSpirit’s Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer and President of CommonSpirit Health Foundation. “This year’s honorees, Zahra, CJ and Jeremy, are actively leading and putting into action the future of health care philanthropy. They are talented and intelligent professionals who are committed to making the communities they serve healthier, and advancing health justice across the nation.”

Zahra Nealy joined California Hospital Medical Center Foundation in 2022 and currently serves as the Manager of Philanthropy Communications. Nealy’s career has been predominantly in the nonprofit and philanthropy space, and she is dedicated to  sharing her knowledge and experience to help others advance in this space, including as an adjunct instructor in nonprofit public relations at her alma mater, the University of Southern California. Nealy understands the nuances and complexities of donor relationships, and the role that philanthropy communications play in strengthening these relationships and in support of the organization’s mission. Her efforts are bringing in new philanthropic partners and inspiring larger and more frequent gifts from long-time supporters.

“I am immensely grateful to AHP for acknowledging the impact of my work with the 2023 40 Under 40 Award,” says Nealy. “I also extend my heartfelt appreciation to my incredible colleagues and peers at California Hospital Medical Center Foundation and CommonSpirit Health Philanthropy, mentors, and all the wonderful individuals who have supported and believed in me throughout my career — it truly takes a village. I am committed to using this recognition as a catalyst to create even greater change — striving to improve health equity, health care access and outcomes for people in my community. Thank you, AHP, for this incredible honor and for your dedication to fostering excellence in health care philanthropy.”

While still in his 20s, Charanjit “CJ” Singh, is already one of CommonSpirit's brightest young leaders in philanthropy, having demonstrated exceptional acumen, competency and success in the field of health care development. As the Director of Marketing, Communications and Philanthropy for San Andreas, California’s Mark Twain Medical Center Foundation, Singh is the only on-site philanthropy team member. While his plate is full — he directly manages major, annual, and employee giving; events; board relations; finances; and interactions between medical center leadership and philanthropy — he has achieved impressive results including the “Foundation of the Year” award at CommonSpirit’s Philanthropy Education Summit 2022 Phillies

“I am honored to receive this recognition but truly philanthropy is not about awards, but the lasting impact we make,” says Singh. “I believe in the power of giving to change lives and inspire others. My motivation is seeing the joy and transformation that comes from helping others. I do what I do to spread kindness and create a brighter future for all.”

Jeremy Riley, has been with the ministry for seven years and currently serves as the Grants Development Coordinator at CHI Memorial Foundation in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In the course of his tenure Riley has served on the Philanthropy Education Summit planning committee for several years and has presented multiple times. He has also been selected to serve on several committees, working through the establishment of a ministry-wide grant tracking software, mission integration and fundraising ethics panels. Riley is committed to philanthropy through his recent approval to sit for the CFRE exam. In addition to the potential CFRE accreditation, his article on grant development was published in the Spring 2023 issue of the AHP Healthcare Philanthropy Journal.

“It’s an honor to be included in the AHP 40 Under 40 alongside incredible people from CommonSpirit Health and other health care organizations,” says Riley. I entered into health care philanthropy through a simple temp job and the mission of our organization rang true to me from the very start. To be recognized by AHP is such a joy! I am a lifelong learner, and cultivating grants helps me to grow in understanding new topics. Developing innovative projects and knowing that all the work will further health outcomes in our region is immensely rewarding. Ultimately, philanthropy exists to serve our neighbors and health care philanthropy ensures patients receive the highest possible level of care. I remain so fortunate to be a part of a great team!”

To learn more about the program and each of this year’s recipients, visit AHP's 2023 Forty 40 Under 40 page.

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) is an international professional organization dedicated exclusively to development professionals who encourage charity in health care organizations. AHP's members represent more than 2,200 health care facilities around the world.