Recently, several of my colleagues and I had the privilege of sitting down with old friends whom we have had the pleasure of working with, to talk about philanthropy and…. yes, asking! These friends have made magnanimous gifts over decades that have had an untold impact on society and the lives of individuals, whether that is young people completing an education they never thought possible, physicians and scientists who are able to deliver care or make pioneering discoveries, or young people exposed to the world of imagination and music.
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.
We spend a lot of time working with clients on building high performance fundraising programs. Typically, when clients approach us, they have a specific project or task in mind: conducting a campaign feasibility study and plan; strategic planning for the fundraising program; vetting staffing and development plans; building the annual fund; or developing their boards, to name a few.
Take this simple check-up to measure the state of your health care institution's culture of philanthropy.
Hospitals are increasingly examining their culture of philanthropy. Considering the recent great recession, the changes brought about by health care reform, and now sequester, it is no wonder that many health care organizations are focusing on building their philanthropic culture.
Most likely, if you are reading this piece you appreciate the importance of creating a compelling case for support that is consistent with your institution’s strategic priorities. That means digging into the elements that go into bringing your institution’s strategic plan from a document on the shelf to action and eventually reality.