Transitioning from Higher Education to Health Care Philanthropy

Part 2: Understanding the business of health care

By Zoey Kernodle

The health care industry is complex, and fundraisers new to the industry will need to learn its ins and outs in order to effectively engage with donors, executives, and board members.

In recent interviews with Philanthropy Leadership Council, development leaders who made the transition from higher education to health care highlighted three operational and business differences between the two industries.

1. Executive involvement in philanthropy is not an explicit expectation in health care.
2. Complex hospital finances affect how organizations value philanthropy.
3. Health care donors are also health care consumers.

These realities affect the daily interactions that fundraisers have with internal allies and donors.

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