Resuscitating Your Campaign
To appeal to these healthcare professionals, McGinley recommends talking to them about the types of giving that will provide direct benefits, such as new equipment for their departments. AHP’s clients find unitrust giving — where the donor transfers cash, securities or other property to a trust and takes the value as a charitable donation — to be particularly effective with this group.
“This appeals to physicians since they can take the full tax deduction and still be earning interest on the unitrust entity,” McGinley says.
He also points out that physicians are in a unique position to influence the giving behaviors of their patients.
“The patients trust them,” he says. “They have close relationships. The physicians can be very good ambassadors for the healthcare facility.”
Like most fundraising campaigns, the one-on-one appeal is always the most successful. McGinley recommends that foundation personnel actually put a plan together for their donors. Identify those healthcare professionals who have expressed interest in your cause, then give them information they can use. Host workshops for healthcare professionals on planning their retirement or career, and show them how they can benefit from planned giving.
Negative publicity has a huge influence on philanthropy, so another important piece, McGinley says, is to take the news of your good works out to the public through newsletters and media contact. If faced with negative press about a program or department shutting down, get out into the community and educate the public about why that decision was made. Let them know what you have planned to protect their philanthropy. Plan your messages carefully.
Donors are out there
Households do give to health charities. The 2003 report, Charitable Giving to Education, Health and Arts: An Analysis of Data Collected in the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study, funded by full-service fundraising consultancy Campbell & Co., identifies the strongest determinant for giving to health charities, after household income, is philanthropic activity in other subsectors. Health giving is lower in households headed by men. Those households identifying themselves as Jewish (either in faith or culture) were more likely to give to health organizations.