The recent release of the Giving USA 2014 Report  underscores the continued generosity of Americans and our commitment to the noble work of countless nonprofit organizations. As giving edges up towards being on par with pre-great recession contributions, one fact remains unchanged: support from individuals is where the real action is, whether personal gifts, gifts through family foundations or through bequests.
As we are all painfully aware, philanthropic giving fell sharply during the recent recession and donations are still down about 8 percent from their 2007 peak of $344.5 billion. As we attempt to bounce back, it’s time to get creative in asking.Rightly so, many development managers focus primarily on major gifts and the top 5 to 10 percent of the existing donor pyramid.
Patients and their family members are the major source of most hospital philanthropy. Indeed, hospitals have a unique relationship with this constituency, as they have a special duty and responsibility to them. That relationship can be based on deep life-altering experiences or simple routine encounters.