Healthcare Fundraising — You will get what you ask for!
Peter's theme and advice for our hospital
management visitors will be
Over many millennia people have supported healthcare in many forms - from the `Good Samaritan´ in the Bible, to the elderly lady who died five years ago in Birmingham and left $1.3 Million to a hospital for Cancer Research.
Healthcare fundraising is nothing new. For hundreds of years before the introduction of the NHS almost every hospital in the United Kingdom was built with ‘Public Subscription’ or Fundraising. Generous individuals gave large and small amounts in support of their local hospital and its mission in their community. Around the globe there is an increasing interest in the amount of involvement that philanthropic donations can have on the bottom line funding of healthcare.
In a world where the cost of technology is often outstripping the capacity of finance managers to pay the bills, hospitals are looking at their communities to support this vital community service. Globally, most hospitals receive donations from grateful patients and relatives; as a thank you or a memory. However, there is a significant need to make this an organized, professional and intentional activity, rather something that is just left to chance that it ‘might’ happen.
Having said that, fundraising principle number one is that it should be more about people than it is about money and the aim of all this activity should be to develop a bond between the organization that needs funds and the people, often grateful patients, who have the ability to support. The most important person in this exchange is not the doctor; it is not the finance manager, or even the CEO or the fundraiser, it is the potential supporter who has the ability to make a gift.
Working in a hospital environment is to work in a place of miracles where every day people are in some form getting their lives back and are grateful to the medics, allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, administration and also the porters and ancillary staff. This ‘good will’ can be turned into significant support for the organization, but it needs to involve everyone.
Fundraisers are not so much raising funds for an organization but involved in creating a change of culture, so that an organization can articulate its needs to a public who are receptive to being asked for support. Fundraising is not just a financial exercise, but an organizational commitment to ‘Change the World’ and giving people an opportunity through their gifts to be part of that change.
* CFRE: Certified Fundraising Executive. FFIA: Fellow of the Fundraising Institute – Australia.
** Details: www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk