Donations to not-for-profit hospitals increased 12.9% to $3.8 billion in 1994, according to the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy's annual report on giving.
The Falls Church, Va.-based association said it's the third year that not-for-profit hospitals reported an increase in giving. The $3.8 billion figure includes cash, pledges, planned gifts and noncash donations such as property and art.
Cash donations rose 10.4% to $2.1 billion in 1994, the largest annual increase since 1988, when cash gifts rose 22% to $1.9 billion.
"Donors and the public seemingly recognized that healthcare reform alone will not meet the future needs of citizens," said William C. McGinly, the AHP's president and chief executive officer. He said the growing interest among donors is "a positive indicator of continued support for healthcare organizations."
The AHP's Report on Giving is based on 335 responses received from 1,456 not-for-profit hospitals.
Interestingly, the survey showed a sizable decrease in cash donations to multihospital systems. The median donation in 1994 declined 15.6% to $1.04 million from $1.2 million a year earlier. As a result, the median of cash gifts to all not-for-profit hospitals in 1994 declined 8.2% to $601,000 from $650,000.
Increased reporting by smaller systems may have resulted in the decline, said Kathy Brady, the AHP's executive vice president. More survey respondents identified themselves as multihospital systems in this year's survey-28% compared with 12.4% a year ago-although a number of them are small systems with as few as two hospitals, Brady said.
However, the AHP said median cash donations to most types of institutions are increasing. Median cash donations to teaching hospitals soared 36% to $2.2 million in 1994, compared with $1.6 million in 1993.
Children's and specialty hospitals received the highest cash contributions. The median amount raised by AHP members at children's hospitals increased 61% to $5.2 million; the median for specialty hospitals was $4.3 million, up 42% from 1992. The median for 1993 was not available.