Hospital, foundation clash over philanthropy

Open houses and wine country weekends don't sound like controversial fund-raising techniques, but Sonoma Valley (Calif.) Hospital, apparently, doesn't agree, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

For months hospital officials and the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation had been in dispute over how best to raise money for the hospital. The foundation mainly used community events to secure donations but claimed the hospital had been impeding its efforts to fundraise and imposing strict restraints upon such activities.

Moreover, hospital representatives sent "very nasty" emails to the foundation, asked for its donors list and then said its services were no longer required, Foundation Executive Chairperson Carolyn Stone told the newspaper.

The clash over philanthropy style prompted all 12 members of the charitable foundation to abruptly resign last week, reported the North Bay Business Journal.

However, Sonoma County Hospital spokesperson Bonnie Durrance said the hospital was actually pleased about the change, noting that the foundation could not meet its current needs. "They raise in the thousands. Our needs are now in the millions," she told the Press-Democrat.

According to Sonoma Valley Hospital District Vice Chairman Madolyn Agrimonti, the hospital itself raised $4.1 million in the past year, compared to only $250,000 provided by the foundation. She noted that having the hospital and the foundation fundraise was diluting the overall effort, according to the Press-Democrat.

After the resignation, the control of the foundation immediately reverted to the hospital.

For more:
- read the Business Journal article
-read the Press-Democrat article