The return on investment for healthcare philanthropy departments has dropped during the ongoing recession, but the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy is urging hospital executives to see the wider picture and resist the urge to trim foundation staff.
Long-term pledges expected in healthcare charitable giving
An association survey of 58 healthcare systems found that every dollar spent on fundraising activities in fiscal 2008 raised $3.92 in cash gifts. In fiscal 2007, every dollar spent raised $4.53 in cash gifts, according to association data. All told, cash gifts dropped an average of 14% between the two years.
However, the study’s authors pointed to another trend in the data, showing that while cash gifts decreased, the production of long-term commitments to give increased. In fiscal 2008, every dollar spent on fundraising produced $4.63 when both cash and long-term commitments to giving were factored in. In 2007, every dollar spent produced $4.48 in cash and long-term gifts.
Association President and CEO William McGinly interpreted the data in a news release, saying that the recession was not cutting off giving, but rather changing way that gifts were being made, from upfront cash to long-term commitments. “The real message here for healthcare executives and boards is take care of your donors and support your fundraising staff and mix of fundraising activities to cope with the recession.”
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