Quantifying Philanthropy's Value

Best practices for exemplifying impact

Learn four peer-inspired and CFO-tested best practices for quantifying philanthropy’s value.

Executive Summary

Hospital fundraising leaders need to look beyond philanthropy-centric metrics like cost to raise a dollar and prove their relevance and relative value with new metrics that mean more to hospital executives. This study provides four peer-inspired and CFO-tested best practices for quantifying philanthropy’s value.

A metrics mismatch between philanthropy and executives

Health care is a data-driven industry—and while hospital philanthropy departments often generate a strong return on investment, many hospital executives view philanthropy’s contribution mainly through the lens of revenue. Foundations and development organizations typically represent one to three percent of total health system revenue, but that’s only a small piece of a much larger pie.

This leaves hospital fundraisers with two major challenges: more accurately communicating philanthropy’s value and doing so in terms that matter to executives.

Proven strategies for quantifying philanthropy’s value

This study offers four best practices—developed by peers and pressure tested by CFOs—that will help you capitalize on philanthropy’s strong ROI and convey its value to executives, boards, donors, and volunteers.

You’ll learn how philanthropy leaders have:

  • Highlighted their department’s contribution to the net operating revenue available for hospital non-profit initiatives
  • Demonstrated the margin impact of their cash transfers
  • Translated the relative value of a philanthropy dollar by equating development’s revenue to financial outputs like hospital charges and adjusted discharges
  • Defined realistic fundraising goals by removing large-gift outliers to normalize goal setting
  • Developed cash-transfer schedules that make philanthropy a reliable source of revenue
  • Quantified philanthropy’s downstream impact on clinical outcomes, volume growth, referrals from splitter physicians, and more

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