Philanthropy for Care Transformation

Lessons for Making Tomorrow's Case to Today's Donors

Six lessons necessary to make the case for health care delivery transformation to major donors, distilled from the experience of fundraisers at hospitals and health systems currently attracting philanthropic dollars for emerging strategic priorities.

Executive Summary

The need to shift perspective

As hospitals shift strategic investments to span the full continuum of care, foundations must maintain their strategic relevance by incorporating these new investments into their funding priorities.

While translating these different-in-kind priorities into a provocative case for support, fundraisers may encounter numerous barriers—particularly in describing the initiative and its urgency, relevance, and impact.

Six lessons for funding care transformation

Hospital foundations can remove the internal and external perception barriers and capture both current and new donors’ attention by building their case around six lessons:

1. Make it ‘a thing’

2. Allies are not optional

3. Play the leadership card

4. Position partnerships as endorsements

5. Assign high caliber staff

6. Plan for stewardship

Foundation leaders first need to translate abstract, intangible priorities and make them concrete for the donor. This education is necessary to dispel the perception that new strategic priorities exist too far outside of the familiar acute care sphere for donors.

Support from physician and executive allies is also needed to bring these concepts to life in donor conversations.

As fundraisers consider the likely prospects for philanthropic investments in care transformation, keep in mind that donors who want to appear as both generous and at the front of strategic priorities will be the most receptive.

Philanthropic opportunities to transform health care will resonate with these entrepreneurial donors, but a leader—like the chief development officer or a senior member of the development team paired with an ally—must initiate these conversations to ensure success.

Today’s donors want measurable results from their philanthropic investments, but these transformational projects are often the most difficult to measure and report. Frequent updates and activities that engage donors in first-hand accounts of project progress will make stewarding these gifts less burdensome.

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Members, read the study to learn:

  • Strategies to create a case for care transformation priorities
  • Active ingredients of the six critical lessons
  • Additional tools and resources profiling organizations already working in this arena

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