In working with hospital foundations, I found the obvious emphasis on fundraising is based on wealth of the prospect. This is a common strategy for most fundraisers and it seems as though most non-profit organizations follow this same process. For clarity, that is about 1.5 million fundraising entities going after about 6% of households in the United States with wealth over $2 million. This number further drops to about 1.4 million prospects with wealth over $10 million. Those are tough odds for that number of organizations attempting to reach this limited audience. While I understand why this approach is taken, there are some donor pools not flagged by wealth indicators which are excluded from donor prospecting that can be powerful advocates for your organization. These missed opportunities can fill the gap in meeting annual fundraising goals.

I was encouraged to see a poll from MSN with about 300,000 respondents indicating that more than half would likely give to a charity in the coming year. About half of those respondents indicated they would not give to causes related to animal welfare, food banks or cultural causes which is good news for hospital foundations. Of those respondents, 44% said they would support a charity because of their mission and consider how accountable they were to that mission. Again, great news for healthcare fundraising. 

So where does all of this lead us? Well, there is a wider audience than just wealthy people interested in your message. Healthcare foundations should embrace education of their mission to a wider audience and this should be a focus for the coming year. Our annual study conducted prior to COVID found that most discharged patients were not aware of their hospital’s foundation. I know foundations have done a better job of sharing their messages in the face of COVID but this educational emphasis needs to continue throughout the year. It is important that more people (especially discharged patients) understand the mission of the organization.

As we enter a new year, there is no doubt that challenges are looming with operational costs and competition for donor dollars while working to increase performance over the prior year. Leveraging your data will be key in finding more or new donors to support your mission. Using your data intelligently can help control operational costs, bridge the gap in meeting goals and help put your team in touch with those most likely to donate while building relationships with more of your community.

Our expertise lies in creating workflow efficiencies and finding new donor opportunities using an organization’s data. Our predictive model, the Brightway Giving Score, pre-screens a patient census and any prospect list to control the flow of prospects into your CRM while helping to control the costs associated with this process and uncovering new donor opportunities.

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