A moment with: Daniel Robles

Daniel Robles and family.

Daniel Robles (pictured above left with his family) has been with our ministry for five years and currently serves as the System Manager of Philanthropy Support for CommonSpirit Health. Earlier this year, Daniel was recognized as one of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s “40 Under 40” for 2020.

Daniel started his career in finance and banking before making the leap to non-profit operations in search of a more fulfilling path. After a stint with Blackbaud and a subsequent return to the non-profit world, he landed at Dignity Health’s St. Mary Medical Center Foundation in Long Beach, Calif. eventually joining the national philanthropy team.

Tell us about your role and how you see it  fitting within the mission of CommonSpirit.
My goal is to help the philanthropy team do their job better. I oversee the support desk for all of philanthropy. Any product that philanthropy touches we oversee and we manage support for it. Philanthropy is such a big part of our mission and values…not only giving back but helping people to give back. What I want to do is make sure that every dollar raised gets back to the ministry and to our programs and patients. If we can streamline our processes to deliver the tools that allow people to do their jobs more effectively, that’s how I see myself giving back to the greater ministry.

What keeps you going and what do you love most about your job?
I love that no two days are ever the same. There’s a constant challenge and a constant opportunity and I love that. It gets my pistons firing, so to speak. It gets us all working together. I feel best when I know we delivered something, be it a product or a resolution, to one of our foundations and it was an “Aha!” moment.

What would you tell someone who is considering entering our field?
I think if you follow your heart and you follow your passion the world is going to take you to the right place. With philanthropy…if you have a passion for it and your heart is in the right place and you want to do something that is going to leave an impact for the better, no matter how small it might be, then this is the path to take.

What did you dream of being when you grew up?
I wanted to own a bank. I thought a bank was basically where everybody left their money and didn’t necessarily take it back!

What is something that might surprise others about you?
I love food. I love to eat it. I love to cook it. This year with COVID it’s going to be a little different but my Thanksgiving dinners go anywhere from 30-60 people with family, extended family and friends. That’s my week where I have to take time off to start prepping.

Outside of the office, what does relaxation look like to you?
I love cars. I love driving. Sometimes it’s just driving down a winding road along the coast. The kids know Saturday is Adventure Day…sometimes it’s “We’re going to drive down to Baja and eat lobster today” and sometimes it’s “We’re going to drive up to Santa Barbara to get cookies today,” That’s relaxation.

Finally, finish this sentence: Philanthropy is….
It’s stewardship. It’s leaving the world a better place than how we found it.