Healthcare donations grow, along with fundraising costs

The hospital industry had among its biggest fundraising success in years, receiving substantially more donations in 2010 despite trying economic times, according to a new report from the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

The report shows that hospitals raised $8.26 billion in 2010, up $620 million from 2009, an 8 percent increase. However, the total is still short of the $8.6 billion raised in 2008 and the $8.3 billion raised in 2007, when the Great Recession began to erode donor gifts.

General fundraising accounted for 20 percent of the charitable monies raised, with 17 percent from major gifts, 15.4 percent through capital campaigns and 14.8 percent via special events.

"Earlier studies ... released this year also showed signs of progress beginning in 2010, but far from a full recovery from the recession," said AHP CEO William C. McGinly in a statement. "These outcomes for fiscal 2010 were not unexpected. They reflect the slow pace of our economic recovery and shifts in giving priorities that have resulted."

The largest amount of the funds were used for construction projects--about 22 percent in total. However, that is far less than the 27.3 percent rate in 2009. More funds were devoted to equipment upgrades and general operations.

Fundraising costs also remained up, about 33 cents for every dollar returned, up from less than 30 cents before the recession began, while return on investment also declined.

For more information:
- read the AHP press release
- here's the AHP report