Charitable giving to hospitals and health systems grew by 2.9% in fiscal 2008 despite the financial downturn, but philanthropic observers said the growth in donations was about half of what was seen the year before.
The 25th annual Report on Giving from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Falls Church, Va., said the growth rate was “tepid” compared with past years. Charitable providers collected $8.6 billion in donations in fiscal 2008, up from $8.3 billion in 2007.
Study authors noted the survey respondents' staggered fiscal years may have skewed the statistics. Providers that closed their books in mid-2008 saw higher rates of giving. But facilities that ended their fiscal years on Dec. 31, 2008, saw an overall decline in fundraising of 0.2% from the previous fiscal year, as those organizations' budget calendars included some of the toughest months of the recession toward the end of 2008.
The survey was conducted last May and was answered by 461 AHP-member providers for a response rate of 22%. (For more on the recession's effects, please see this week's special report: Dippin' endowments.)