Canada, US healthcare organizations may struggle to meet future needs

publication date: Mar 22, 2012
In 2010, charitable pledges to Canadian and US hospitals and health care systems slowed down - even in those organizations with high-performing fundraising campaigns.  This raises the question of whether health care systems in both countries will be able to generate the philanthropic funding necessary to meet their long-term construction, equipment and patient needs.

These and other findings were contained in two reports published by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP). The reports defined "high performers" in 2010 as those organizations that raised at least $5 million in net fundraising revenues. The survey included 50 U.S. facilities and 13 in Canada. Proportionally, Canadian health care fundraisers were more likely than those in the U.S. to be high performers: five out of 13 in Canada, compared to 11 out of 50 from the U.S.

High performers tended to support health care systems and academic/teaching hospitals, which were better able to weather the recession than smaller community-based facilities. In almost all instances, organizations that devoted more staff and resources to philanthropic tasks did significantly better than those with less to spend on charity programs and fewer professional fundraisers.

The survey also indicated that in the wake of the recession, health care philanthropy increased reliance on cash-based fundraising. Besides annual giving and public support programs, there was an uptick in donations coming from an array of special events, where expenses often can be reduced by using volunteers.

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