How hospitals use social media for philanthropy

Hospitals are increasingly turning to social media to for their fundraising efforts, part of a trend in healthcare to try and find ways to locate funds for both institutions and individuals.

For instance, SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital are using the social media platform Fundly to raise funds, partly through an online "gift" catalog, reported the St. Louis Business Journal.

With the catalog, individual donors can contribute to buying specific pieces of equipment, such as vital monitors or emergency supplies, or put money toward capital campaigns. Users can contribute to eight different children's hospitals in the United States, according to the website.

Meanwhile, individuals are using social media platforms such as GiveForward and YouCaring--which was founded only a year ago--to raise money to pay for their medical bills or those of their family members,The Columbian reported. An average GiveForward fundraiser brings in $4,000, according to the article.

Such social media fundraising tools may have helped donations to hospitals set a new record in 2011. However, the costs of soliciting those funds grew as well, according to a report released month by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy.

For more:
- read the St. Louis Business Journal article
- check out the Columbian article
- visit the Fundly website