Resuscitating Your Campaign
Healthcare institutions certainly have come under fire in the past few years. As new reports emerge about failing emergency rooms, overworked staff at understaffed hospitals, insurance issues, and skyrocketing medical expenses, the challenge to raise funds for nonprofit healthcare groups has never been greater.
Couple this with a lack of public education about the difference between for-profit and nonprofit medical facilities, and this challenge becomes even bigger.
The public, on average, might not know that nonprofit healthcare services actually are operating more efficiently than the for-profit health sector. In Why Nonprofits Matter in American Medicine: A Policy Brief, Mark Schlesinger of Yale University and Bradford Gray of the Urban Institute discovered some interesting comparisons between nonprofit and for-profit healthcare organizations. Their brief found that:
- For-profit organizations have larger markups of prices over costs;
- Nonprofit organizations adopt more trustworthy practices;
- Nonprofits serve as incubators for new health services; and
- Nonprofits play a vital role in influencing the practices of their local for-profit competitors but too often have inadequate levels of community involvement and incomplete public accountability.
Fundraising efforts that reach out to healthcare professionals who understand these challenges can be an effective strategy for nonprofit healthcare groups. Bill McGinley is the CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy of Falls Church, Va., which represents 4,500 fundraising executives in healthcare. He finds today’s busy healthcare workers hard to reach, but not impossible.
“We mostly approach hospital employees, and doctors usually get more attention since they have more capacity,” he says. “It can be difficult to get them to respond for a variety of reasons. Physicians already feel they’re giving their time and effort; sometimes they’re giving free care. For many of them, because of third-party payers, they are not earning what they used to earn but have to provide the same level of service. They’re not happy about that.”