D’Ambrosio joins Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute as Chief Development Officer

"I am not a doctor, nurse or researcher, but asking others to save lives at Karmanos through their charitable support is a privilege."

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute welcomes Arnold D’Ambrosio as the new Chief Development Officer (CDO), effective Monday, July 10, 2023. D’Ambrosio, a Detroit native, brings the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center over 30 years of donor relations, fundraising and major gifts experience, with over a decade of that time in mission-driven healthcare giving.

“We are pleased that Arnold has chosen to join our team at Karmanos as we strive to fund our continued investment in researchers, advanced treatments and continue our work toward ridding the world of cancer,” expressed Brian Gamble, president of Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Network. “I’m confident in Arnold’s ability to further the philanthropic relationships with our loyal and generous donors, building new relationships with organizations, individuals, and families and developing a new generation of donors. As he steps into his new role at Karmanos, we look forward to developing new innovative opportunities to secure support that enhances our patient care and support funding for ground-breaking cancer research, purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and expand our outreach to the communities we proudly serve.”  

As CDO, D’Ambrosio ensures philanthropy and fund development will uphold the organization’s mission and vision. He will provide leadership, oversight, and philanthropic stewardship and manage the day-to-day operations of the Karmanos Development Department. To effectively cultivate and generate philanthropic support for the Karmanos Cancer Foundation, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Karmanos Cancer Hospital.  D’Ambrosio will work closely with corporate and community leaders, major gift officers, charitable foundations, board members and other volunteers. He will report directly to the president and CEO of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and provide continuing support to the Foundation’s board of directors.

“Karmanos is a distinguished cancer center with leading advancements in the cancer treatment space that has changed how patient care is provided across the country and world,” D’Ambrosio said. “Taking a position that allows me to help such an organization reach its mission and vision through campaigns that support the very important research and care provided for Detroit and Michigan is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. The institute has a stellar reputation and should be at the top of the list for philanthropic support from the community. I look forward to meeting those who support Karmanos and getting to know prospects who believe in the mission and vision as deeply as the researchers, doctors, nurses and staff.”

Before joining Karmanos, D'Ambrosio served as the vice president of University Advancement with the University of Detroit Mercy for over seven years, one of his alma maters. Under his leadership, the fundraising department received the National CASE Outstanding Fundraising Performance Award for exceptional programs and effectiveness in 2020; he established a National Advancement Committee and restructured the Advancement Department into an inter-dependent unit. Responsible for a $100,000,000 campaign for the university, D’Ambrosio and his team exceeded that goal a year ahead of schedule by raising $14.5 million more while identifying new significant gift prospects. 

At Northwood University, D’Ambrosio completed another successful campaign, exceeding expectations, as the Alumni Relations and Advancement vice president. He led a team that completed the campaign ahead of schedule and $4 million above the campaign’s goal. He was responsible for gifts ranging between $100,000 and $5 million. D’Ambrosio also served as the vice president of Major and Planned Gifts at the Beaumont Foundation, chief development officer at Geisinger Health System Foundation in Danville, Pennsylvania, director of development at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and also served in foundation roles at the American Heart Association, Glenmary Home Missionaries and the College of Mount St. Joseph, all three in Cincinnati, Ohio.

D’Ambrosio was born in Detroit and grew up in Southfield. He met his wife while attending Madonna University, and they moved out of state shortly after getting married.

“We returned nearly 17 years ago and re-discovered the state’s beauty. Coming home and seeing the renovation of the city has been a tremendous experience. I am Detroit proud,” D’Ambrosio exclaimed.

He has served as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the South Lyon Fire Department. He is pursuing a Master of Data Analytics at the University of Detroit Mercy, where he also obtained a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. D’Ambrosio completed a fellowship in Institutional Advancement at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, where he developed and directed the fundraising program. He has a bachelor’s in English and a secondary teaching certificate from Madonna University. Before his career in philanthropy giving, D’Ambrosio was a junior high school English and Social Studies teacher. His first bachelor’s degree is in Philosophy and History from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Karmanos Cancer Foundation and how to donate to give patients their best chance, visit karmanos.org/karmanosfoundation.