Rx for Falling Hospital Philanthropy

Giving to U.S. hospitals fell 50 percent between 2005 and 2007 according to a study recently released by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Fewer available dollars require more effective methods.

My prescription: Optimize the internal relationships that drive fundraising campaigns.
Running a campaign, particularly a capital campaign, involves a huge cast of characters, on the inside and outside. It demands Herculean amounts of energy, strict management of expectations and endless endurance. Myriad decisions must be made in short order to meet sequential goals for creating communications. Much too often, fundraising and marketing/media/PR people are left scurrying to meet impossible deadlines.
To avert anxiety and do the best work possible, people in fundraising and communications must break down silos and proceed with one accord from the very beginning. This requires mutual respect for the invaluable experience and talent each group offers—and demands the graceful surrender and sharing of power. (And that can make it a difficult challenge.)
Early in the planning stages, get to know each other well—beyond the cursory meetings—and establish free-flowing channels of communication. Create a process that works efficiently for everyone involved. Define objectives and assign very specific tasks. Designate shared responsibilities that cross silos. Set clear deadlines and hold each other accountable. Proceed with transparency, honesty and a singular sense of purpose. Avoid an "us" and "them" mentality at all costs.
Too many times I've seen fundraising campaigns lose their momentum and mojo because the internal relationships were dysfunctional. With hospital philanthropy falling, all of us must rise to the occasion.
—Tom DeSanto

No comments: