Care Transformation Center Blog

Philanthropy: Your untapped resource for financing population health

by Nick Cericola

Philanthropy is often used to support service line priorities and capital construction needs, but more and more provider organizations are using it to advance their population health strategy. From funding nurse navigator programs to building medical homes, fundraising revenue is being applied in varied and creative ways, and leading philanthropists increasingly look to inflect transformational change. Some institutions are even bundling their new care transformation priorities together and launching multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns.

"Most of what I’m talking about are unfunded mandates. We're in a world that's not about volume generation; we're in a world of changing reimbursement formulas. I can't offer a new program in the hospital and grow it and get margin from it to pay for these types of things. We are counting more and more on philanthropy."
—Hospital President and System Senior Vice President, Health System in the Mid-Atlantic

How to leverage philanthropy to support your goals

Your foundation or development office can't help you if they don't know what you're working on. Your first step is to set up a meeting with your Chief Development Officer to talk about projects you need funded and learn about their process. To help make the most of your meeting, be prepared to:

  1. Set the context and establish your expertise
  2. Describe the project(s) in need of funding
  3. Illustrate the potential impact of the project(s)
  4. Communicate urgency and relevance

For more detailed guidance on navigating your first meeting, including the 11 questions you should expect to answer, download our Narrative Preparation Guide.

While critical, this conversation is just the beginning. To maximize the value of your partnership with philanthropy over the long term, you should plan on fulfilling several roles:

  • Provide project details and updates so that development staff can make a compelling case to potential investors
  • Meet with top donors and prospective donors to discuss your work and vision
  • Track and report proof of impact to help donors remain engaged

Next post on philanthropy

Find out what five things CEOs need to know about philanthropy.

Read more

Win project funding with a good story


Use the 11 questions in our Narrative Preparation Guide to give your development team partners the context and details they need to make a compelling case for your new priorities.