Measuring Your Philanthropic Culture

 This is a simple check-up to measure your institution’s culture of philanthropy. Rank each of your answers to the questions below on a scale of 0 - 5. Add your score at the conclusion of the test to determine the health of your institution’s culture of philanthropy and tips for improvement.


5 = always                                                                  2 = occasionally


4 = almost always                                                       1 = rarely


3 = usually                                                                  0 = never


If you are not able to answer the question, note NA and delete the question from the scoring below.

1.     The role of philanthropy is understood and articulated in the institution’s vision and strategic plan. ___

2.     You are aware of the hospital philanthropic priorities. ___

3.     The CEO reports on recent philanthropic accomplishments and/or objectives at hospital meetings. ___

4.     The CEO schedules private and/or small group donor or prospect meetings in his/her appointment schedule. ___

5.     The Board or Trustee meeting agenda includes a development report by the Development Committee Chair and/or VP of Development at regularly scheduled meetings. ___

6.     The Board meeting agenda includes a brief presentation depicting how philanthropy is impacting the organization. ___

7.     The Board chair establishes an expectation that the institution will be among the top three philanthropic priorities of its Board members. ___

8.     100 percent of the Board supports the institution with an annual gift and with a major or capital gift during a campaign or special drive. ___

9.     The CEO regularly meets with the VP for Development and the Development Committee Chair. ___

10.  The Development committee’s job description includes active participation in the development process in addition to policy setting. ___

11.  The Development committee members actively engage in peer-to-peer identification, cultivation and solicitation. ___

12.  The Board and Development committee members are able to articulate the institution’s fundraising priorities. ___

13.  The CEO, Board Chair and VP for Development function as a triumvirate in the development process. ___

14.  The institution has a physician committee that actively participates in the development program. ___

15.  Physicians are engaged in helping to build the major gift pipeline. ___

16.  The physicians and/or other health care providers are aware of and are able to articulate the institution’s top fundraising priorities (not just funding for their own work or area!). ___

17.  Development officer(s) regularly engage the physicians in meaningful conversations about philanthropy and how they can participate in grateful patient fundraising. ___

18.  The management team, physicians and staff are able to describe how philanthropy is making a difference or can make a difference at the institution. ___

19.  The CEO and development staff are donor centric in bringing together donor interests with the hospital’s funding priorities. ___

20.  There is a commitment to best practices in fundraising performance and activity metrics. ___

21.  The institution’s publications (not just development marketing materials) include philanthropic stories and the relevance philanthropy is making in achieving mission. ___

22.  The CEO’s messages in publications include the role of philanthropy at the institution. ___

23.  Your donors openly communicate their philanthropic interests to hospital leadership and/or development staff and partner with them to achieve their shared vision. ___

24.  The institution displays up to date donor recognition displays and/or plaques. ___

25.  The staff in the hospital’s reception area knows the development staff and how to contact them. ___


Total score: ____


110 - 125         In the pink of health! Use prevention strategies: continue to nurture all participants and especially newcomers to sustain                          your unique culture of philanthropy.

                          90 - 109           Good health but there’s room for improvement. Identify areas for improvement and discuss steps with your CEO to shore                                                     up.

70 - 89             The hospital’s culture of philanthropy needs work! Share the test with your CEO and lead physicians. Identify areas of                                weakness and develop a plan to engage your CEO and physicians in key areas.

50 - 69             Unhealthy philanthropic culture. Identify most urgent areas for remediation and develop a plan with your staff, CEO,                                  Executive Team and Development Committee chair.

Below 50        Needs prompt resuscitation! Develop a strategy that engages the CEO, lead physicians and Board to develop a                                               philanthropic culture that honors your institution’s unique culture.


For more information, contact Susan Holt, President, Vision Philanthropy Group


Copyright © 2017, Vision Philanthropy Group.  All rights reserved.