In my experience with senior and C-suite level executive search, I have had the opportunity to look at various ways organizations aim to attract and retain talent. In an increasingly competitive market for fundraising talent, organizations have implemented performance incentive programs – which provide ways to increase pay beyond base salary – to boost their compensation packages. The questions often asked of me, however, is whether incentive programs are ethical or effective, and if so, how do they work. After conducting informal research, which consisted of asking peer nonprofit leaders for their thoughts on the topic, it became clear that there was an opportunity to further explore this area and understand more about how these reward programs work. Particularly, healthcare institutions have found that performance incentive programs do encourage fundraising staff to meet goals.
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How do you inspire a community to even consider providing philanthropic support to a hospital that for years asked for nothing in return except the fees it charged for its services?
That was the problem faced by a community hospital client that went from for-profit ownership to ownership by a not-for-profit system.The new owners were investing millions in upgrading the community’s hospital and health care infrastructure and wanted to form a closer partnership with the community, a partnership that extended into the community’s philanthropic coffers. Sound impossible? It’s not as hard as you’d think.
Donors are saturated with communication from nonprofits—by mail, phone, email, and social media. With so many important issues and compelling cases, connecting with your donors in a meaningful way is critical. Healthcare institutions have a unique opportunity because donors—and prospects—are deeply embedded in the culture of the organization through the patient and family experience. Leveraging this connection can increase annual giving for both short-term success and long-term stability.
As healthcare philanthropy continues to evolve, the methods organizations use to identify and communicate with prospective donors also change. Our recent Grateful Patient Study found that one of the most effective methods for transforming your patients into donors is through the effective training and management of physicians in fundraising.
In 2014, charitable giving to nonprofit organizations in the health sector reached a total of $30.37 billion – a total of 8 percent of all donations received by charities in 2014, according to Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy. The health sector continues to grow at an increasingly steady pace. Contributions to health organizations increased by 5.5 percent from 2013. This increase in charitable giving to health organizations is a positive indicator during this time of ongoing change for the sector. Below are some key findings and recommendations that are intended to help health organizations prepare for their future in fundraising.
A healthcare organization’s annual giving program can create—and sustain—a healthy donor base. Annual giving programs are often the first step in a donor’s relationship with your organization, and an opportunity to immediately connect with grateful patients and families and assess their capacity and inclination. Several weeks ago I introduced “6 best practices” that can have a substantial impact on your organization’s overall fundraising efforts.
Let’s get started with the first best practice, Donor Segmentation.