In the library
Nonprofit Excellence in Fundraising
Built upon the success of the best-selling “Nonprofit Management 101,” this easy to digest book provides practical, comprehensive guidance for nonprofit fundraising around the globe. With tips and tools, expert advice, and real-world insights from almost fifty industry leaders, this robust resource addresses the entire spectrum of fundraising for nonprofits, including: Planning, hiring, and tracking progress Individual donors, major gifts, events, and direct mail Board and volunteer engagement Foundation and government grants Corporate partnerships Online and email fundraising.
Advice from the Expert
Annual Giving for the Current Health Care Environment – Dead on Arrival or Feeder System for the Future
By Susan Barcus
Major Giving is center of health care fundraising and annual giving is our past. This message prevails so broadly in nonprofit management that I have witnessed the assassination of viable annual giving programs in the name of building a major giving.
While major giving is vitally import to successful philanthropy culture, I assert that a thriving annual giving program must be the roots for growing and sustaining major giving production. The “Why” behind this assertion is grounded in years of hospitals and health systems fundraising.
Special events, direct mailings, on-line programs and recurring small dollar efforts have built loyal donors. These loyal donors grow into major donors and build philanthropic credibility for the development team and volunteer solicitors. Let’s examine this assertion further.
Many donors contribute and test nonprofits ability to process gifts and appropriately utilize dollars for the stated purpose. A fundraising team’s ability to respond quickly with an acknowledgment and articulate appropriate use of the gift is a key test. This is especially true in an environment where the average donor now contributes to between three and five organizations on an annual basis. Assuring gifts are used correctly and donors are thanked in a timely manner is of critical importance for future giving.
In many instances, new donors may not view their hospital as needing philanthropic dollars. The case for philanthropy has to be made clear and the gift impact visible for the good of the community just like a campaign case to build a building. Prospects may be unaware of the investment possibilities until they are closer to your organization and understand the needs that exist outside of standard hospital revenue streams. Being able to demonstrate the impact of dollars and the key needs that exist is paramount to the success of any philanthropic effort. Special events and specific projects draw your prospects nearer to you and help build the trust between your organization, your philanthropic team and your community.
An emerging, national statistic from The Advisory Board is that 88% of all healthcare donors are grateful patients. Grateful patients have received direct care from your institution. By engaging this group of prospects after their hospital experience, you have begun to arm an entire team of walking billboards. Their time in the hospital and the experience a fundraising team can deliver immediately after their stay can make the difference in how they speak about your organization in their community.
Methods have changed for annual giving. It doesn’t have to be as time intensive as a gala or as expected as a golf tournament. Email, online and smaller event fundraising have increased in effectiveness. Project fundraising and campaign fundraising by dedicated volunteers continue to produce small, loyal donor groups with specific interest in a disease or service line that grow into major donors on a quicker timeline.
While healthcare fundraising budgets may focus on major giving, do not underestimate the small game! Annual giving is still a critical piece of an effective fundraising strategy serving as the feeder system that grows your annual donors into loyal major givers. Continue to build a consistent, annual fund and grow loyal donors who will espouse your message, become major donors, and excellent campaign prospects.
Susan Barcus is Chief Development Officer for Kettering Health Network and President of Kettering Medical Center Foundation. In this role, Susan works closely with internal and external audiences to ensure a high level of support for KHN’s most pressing priorities. Currently, this involves leading the Project Gratitude effort on the Kettering Medical Center campus to implement a grateful patient initiative.
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