Skip to main content

Mulvey (Patrick), Oral History Interview: Home

Interview Navigation Materials

Interview Navigation Material

 

Interview Profile

 

 

Interview Information:

Two interview sessions: 11 May 2015, 19 May 2015.
Total approximate duration: 1 hour 40 minutes.

Interviewer: Tacey A. Rosolowski, Ph.D.

Note: At the Interview Subject’s request, this interview was focused to collect institutional history rather than any biographical information.

 

For supplementary materials:

Please contact, the Historical Resources Center, Research Medical Library:

Javier Garza, MSIS, jjgarza@mdanderson.org

 

About the Interview Subject:

Patrick Mulvey came to MD Anderson in 1985 as Assistant Director of the Office of Development.  Today he is Vice President of Development, a role he has served since 2000.  Mr. Mulvey is best known for running MD Anderson’s capital campaigns.  He has overseen the growth of the Office of Development into a very successful team that has raised over one billion dollars for the institution.  

 

Major Topics Covered:

Coming to MD Anderson

The Office of Development under presidents Charles A. LeMaistre, John Mendelsohn, and Ronald DePinho

Working with MD Anderson presidents

The evolution of fundraising as a practice

Changes in MD Anderson’s donor base

MD Anderson’s capital campaigns

Mechanisms for making appeals for donations

The Moon Shots Program and fundraising

The MD Anderson mission and culture

 

Regarding the Transcript and Audio Files

In accordance with oral history best practices, this transcript was intentionally created to preserve the conversational language of the interview sessions.  (Language has not been edited to conform to written prose).

The interview subject was given the opportunity to review the transcript.  Any requested editorial changes are indicated in brackets [ ], and the audio file has not correspondingly altered. 

Redactions to the transcript and audio files may have been made in response to the interview subject’s request or to eliminate personal health information in compliance with HIPAA.

 

 


 

Table of Contents

 

Interview Session One: 11 May 2015

 

The Development Office in the Eighties
Chapter 01 / An Institutional Unit

 

Philanthropy in the United States and at MD Anderson
Chapter 02 / Overview

 

The Development Office: Expansion under John Mendelsohn and an MD Anderson Way of Fundraising
Chapter 03 /Building the Institution

 

The Development Office: Management Changes, Working with Faculty Gifts, and Thoughts on Ronald DePinho
Chapter 04 / An Institutional Unit

 

Interview Session Two: 19 May 2015

 

How Donations are Made to MD Anderson –In the Past and Today
Chapter 05 / Building the Institution

 

A Brief History of Donations to MD Anderson
Chapter 06 / Overview

 

Technology and Social Media: Impact on MD Anderson Fundraising
Chapter 07 / Building the Institution

 

The Office of Development: What Has Been Achieved and Today’s Focus on the Moon Shots Program
Chapter 08 / Building the Institution

 

The Positive Effects of Institutional Growth
Chapter 09 / Institutional Mission and Values

 


Chapter Summaries

 

 

Interview Session One: 11 May 2015 (listen/read)

 

Chapter 00A
Interview Identifier (listen/read)

 

Chapter 01 (An Institutional Unit)
The Development Office in the Eighties (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson History
  • MD Anderson Culture
  • Professional Path
  • Joining MD Anderson
  • Overview
  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Portraits

Mr. Mulvey recounts how he came to MD Anderson in 1985 as an Assistant Director of Development Services.  He then describes the Office of Development and its operation under institution president, Charles A. LeMaistre, MD [Oral History Interview].

Mr. Mulvey explains how development became a more significant factor in MD Anderson’s growth at that time, leading Dr. LeMaistre to provide support and resources for the Office’s growth.  He describes the two issues of focus for fundraising at that time: patient care and cancer prevention.  He describes the first major comprehensive campaign, the Fulfill the Promise Campaign, and the increased targets for fundraising that resulted.

 

Chapter 02 (Overview)
Philanthropy in the United States and at MD Anderson (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • Cultural/Social Influences
  • On Texas and Texans
  • Patients
  • Patients, Treatment, Survivors
  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Professional Practice
  • MD Anderson History
  • Discovery and Success

Mr. Mulvey begins by observing that development work is focused on building relationships with people. He explains that the United States is a very “giving society” then comments on building philanthropic support for a non-profit institution.

Mr. Mulvey then explains that philanthropic dollars for MD Anderson first came primarily from the state of Texas, but now come from around the country and the world, a change that has followed the expansion of the patient base. 

Mr. Mulvey says that donors to the institution want to believe in its mission and its leaders.

 

Chapter 03 (Building the Institution)
The Development Office: Expansion under John Mendelsohn and an MD Anderson Way of Fundraising (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Professional Practice
  • MD Anderson History
  • Portraits
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • Discovery and Success
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation

Mr. Mulvey explains the dramatic expansion of the Development Office when John Mendelsohn, MD [Oral History Interview] came to MD Anderson as third president of the institution in 1996.

He explains the increased resources directed to the Development Office. He also describes how Dr. Mendelsohn made himself available to travel with a development team when they needed him to fundraise.

Mr. Mulvey then explains that the Making Cancer History Campaign arose from Dr. Mendelsohn’s concept of the Cancer Care Cycle.  He talks about how this bold campaign, which raised one billion dollars, differentiated MD Anderson from other institutions on a national stage.

He also explains how the dramatic success of this campaign transformed the Development Office.  Each team member is now seen as a major gifts fundraiser.  Mr. Mulvey comments on how difficult it is to recruit good fundraisers and that the Office is considering a program of in-house training.

 

Chapter 04 (An Institutional Unit)
The Development Office: Management Changes, Working with Faculty Gifts, and Thoughts on Ronald DePinho 
(listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Professional Practice
  • MD Anderson History
  • Portraits
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • Discovery and Success
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • Research, Care, and Education
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions

Mr. Mulvey sketches initiatives he took as Director of Development to expand the Office. 

He observes that, in the eighties, he and his team were coming to understand what a fundraising office could do for the institution and undertook methodical growth, also gathering evidence to demonstrate good return on the investment of philanthropic dollars.

Mr. Mulvey then describes the process of gaining the trust of faculty members who had attracted philanthropic investment in their work.  He notes that mechanisms are now in place for faculty to partner with a fundraiser.

Mr. Mulvey then talks about the role of fundraising since Dr. Ronald DePinho took over as the institution’s fourth president.  He notes that Dr. DePinho is an experienced fundraiser with a bold vision for the institution and for development. 

 

 

Interview Session Two: 19 May 2015 (listen/read)

 

Chapter 00B
Interview Identifier (listen/read)

 

Chapter 05 (Building the Institution)
How Donations are Made to MD Anderson –In the Past and Today (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson History
  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Professional Practice
  • MD Anderson History
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • Discovery and Success
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation
  • This is MD Anderson

Mr. Mulvey provides an overview of mechanisms used to solicit funds to MD Anderson in the past and today.  He notes that donations have increased from about $12,000 annually in the eighties to $130,000 - $140,000 per year.  He discusses how the Development Office establishes trust and credibility with donors and explains mechanisms for making appeals: the direct mail program, the acquisition program, the planned giving program.   He talks about different populations that Development approaches and explains the restrictions that donors often place on their gifts.  He explains what makes MD Anderson unique among health institutions.

 

Chapter 06 (Overview)
A Brief History of Donations to MD Anderson 
(listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson History
  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • Professional Practice

Mr. Mulvey explains why, in the eighties, fundraising in southern institutions was less sophisticated than in the north.  He talks about the effect that MD Anderson’s state-supported status had on fundraising in those years.

                                    

Chapter 07 (Building the Institution)
Technology and Social Media: Impact on MD Anderson Fundraising (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • MD Anderson History
  • On Philanthropy and Volunteerism
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • MD Anderson History
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation

Mr. Mulvey talks about the impact of social media on MD Anderson fundraising efforts.  He mentions e-philanthropy, Facebook, and email appeals.  He notes that the Development Office must take full advantage of all avenues of communication with donors, but proceed methodically, so that gifts can be properly serviced.  He also explains that the institution must establish formal policies for such online activities. 

Mr. Mulvey also talks about the impact of computer analyses, not available when he began in the eighties, and which now allow manipulation of data for better targeting of donors.

 

Chapter 08 (Building the Institution)
The Office of Development: What Has Been Achieved and Today’s Focus on the Moon Shots Program (listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • The Administrator
  • Career and Accomplishments
  • Donations, Gifts, Contributions
  • MD Anderson History
  • Portraits
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • Discovery and Success
  • The Business of MD Anderson
  • The MD Anderson Brand, Reputation

Mr. Mulvey reflects on what the Development Office has achieved under his leadership.  He notes that the Office has raised over three billion dollars to fund research, care, and capital development.  It also has great credibility and understands the MD Anderson’s stakeholders.

Next he explains that the Office will be expanding from thirty two fundraisers to fifty-five plus individuals to meet the needs for the institutional priority: Dr. Ronald DePinho’s Moon Shots Program.  He explains the process of identifying the best way to communicate with donors about the Moon Shots.  He lists individuals involved in this collaborative process today and over the years.

 

Chapter 09 (Institutional Mission and Values)
The Positive Effects of Institutional Growth 
(listen/read)

 

Topics Covered

  • This is MD Anderson
  • MD Anderson History
  • Building/Transforming the Institution
  • Growth and/or Change
  • Discovery and Success
  • Personal Reflections, Memories of MD Anderson

Mr. Mulvey comments on the growth of MD Anderson since the 1980s and notes the overall positive effects of expansion. 

Mr. Mulvey says he has been privileged to work at MD Anderson.