Health Care Fundraisers Fared Better in 2010 But Have Long Way to Go Before Recovering from Recession

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health care fundraising showed signs of progress last year, but far from enough to erase two years of recessionary losses and cutbacks, according to members of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), who direct development efforts for more than 2,000 nonprofit hospitals and health care providers throughout North America.

While the vast majority (71 percent) of AHP members who answered a January survey reported negative effects on their programs in 2010 due to the recession, these responses represented a 16 percent improvement over 2009.   Over-the-year advances were noted for investment income, donations from hospital staff, and funds raised through special events.

"Perhaps the most promising news is that far fewer fundraisers are reporting significant reductions in their operating budgets," observed William C. McGinly, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief operating officer of AHP.  "In 2009, fully 52 percent of fundraisers told of having to trim their budgets.  Last year, half of respondents made no changes in their budgets, and 12 percent actually increased them."

Fundraisers who answered the AHP survey reported some progress, or at least diminished harm due to the economy, in several key areas.  

  • Thirty-seven percent found annual fund direct-mail revenue was down in 2010, compared to 50 percent in 2009.  
  • Declines in major gift revenue were reported by 44 percent of respondents last year, which was an improvement over the 59 percent who saw major gift revenue losses in 2009.  
  • Less than one-third said they had reduced their giving forecast in 2010, compared to 45 percent in 2009.

Mary Anne Chern, FAHP, ACFRE, who chairs AHP's board of directors and is president of White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation in Los Angeles, pointed out that health care development professionals continued to intensify their efforts in 2010.

"AHP members worked hard to step up their involvement with donor stewardship, major gift programs, annual fund campaigns and grant programs to cultivate donations for the institutions they support," she said.  "Some succeeded in increasing funding for charity care, equipment purchases, health care operations and capital improvements or expansions.  Hopefully, we will continue this trend as economic conditions improve."

SOURCE Association for Healthcare Philanthropy