October 19, 2017

At age 19, this hospital's former patient has become its No. 1 fundraiser

Daily Briefing

    Kilee Brookbank credits Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati for saving her life following an explosion at her home—and now the 19-year-old is giving back, having raised more than $170,000 for the hospital since 2015, Barrett Brunsman writes for the Cincinnati Business Courier.

    'I've gotten my life back because of Shriners'

    On Nov. 10, 2014, Brookbank's house exploded due to a gas leak while she was in the house, resulting in second- and third-degree burns to 45 percent of her body. But after 38 days recovering at Shriners and several months of physical therapy, Brookbank was able to get back to her normal life—an outcome she credits entirely to Shriners. Brookbank now attends Xavier University.

    "I don't think my recovery would have been so successful" at a different hospital, Brookbank said. "Because of the care I received, I was back to playing soccer less than a year after the fire. I've gotten my life back because of Shriners, and I want to spread the word about the work they do."

    Shriners' No. 1 fundraiser

    Following her recovery, Brookbank and her family established the Kilee Gives Back Foundation, which in 2015 began holding the annual Kilee Brookbank Celebrity Golf Tournament—the hospital's No. 1 fundraiser. She is also donating a portion of the proceeds from her book, "Beautiful Scars: A Life Redefined," to Shriners.

    On Friday, Brookbank presented a check for over $74,000 to David Aaronson, who chairs the hospital board, and Donald Gorbandt, the hospital's development director. The check reflects the results of the third annual golf tournament, Brunsman reports, and brings the total funds raised by Brookbank to more than $170,000 since 2015.

    In recognition of Brookbank's contributions, the hospital on Oct. 25 will name one of its family suites after her. "The most important thing I want people to know about Shriners is that they care for children regardless of their families' ability to pay, so donations are crucial," Brookbank said. "I want to do anything I can to make sure other children get the same level of care I received" (Brunsman, Cincinnati Business Courier, 9/22).

    To ensure current and future success, you must develop a new fundraising strategy

    Both positive and negative indicators exist for the outlook on health care philanthropy.

    To ensure your current and future success, you must develop a strategy around new opportunities, such as donor-advised funds, and focus on your capstone fundraising practices—your campaign and major gift performance.

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