Major gift for hospitals, Mallabone: “Forget Grey’s Anatomy!”

We know it, the italian fundraisers should copy their strategies from some few others Countries in which fundraising is almost everywhere. Because of that, I decided to do researches in order to learn what in the world someone does better than us. Above all, I’m very interested to look for something more specific. So, this time I interviewed one of the leading experts on fundraising from big donors: Guy Mallabone, President & CEO at Global Philanthropic Canada Inc.. He is recognized internationally as one of the nonprofit sector’s most thoughtful and inspiring leaders.

major gift mallaboneMr Mallabone, in a hospital, where I can find my prospect donators in order to build a high net worth investors? Which is the first step?

Firstly, you can located the names of major donors to hospitals listed prominently on a donor wall in the hospital.
Secondly, you can identify the names of major donors to hospitals on published donor records and community donor reports.
Thirdly, most North American hospital fund development departments maintain a list of qualified major gift donors.
Fourthly, most North American hospital fund development departments have volunteers recruited to assist in the identification and qualification (particularly important) of prospective major donors.

In a Hospital, how much of the budget is expected to be invested to do fundraising from major donors?

I do not have specific numbers to answer this question. The answer varies from hospital to hospital, but most hospitals maintain a development office, with at least six people (director; major gift officer; annual giving officer; special events; research/stewardship officer; and gift processing staff member).  The salaries for these staff positions amount to approximately CAD $650K, with a further CAD $100 for various expenses.

How does the major donors head of department in a medium size hospital decide his/her priorities?

Fundraising priorities are not set by the fundraising department alone. Fundraising priorities are set by the Executive of the Hospital and/or Hospital Foundation, and directly related to the priorities of the hospital’s strategic plan.  The bottom line is … fundraising priorities are based on the strategic planning priorities.
Having said the above, fundraising professionals provide an assessment of the “appetite” that exists in the community and/or by potential major gift donors.  This assessment of the appetite of fundraising priorities is an ongoing function of the fundraising department, and is an integral part of the fundraising program.

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In an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a fundraising gala is managed where doctors themselves try to raise money for their hospital departments. Anyway, at the end the more effective strategy seems to be just taking majors donors to assist a very delicate surgery. Are the major donors allowed to visit the areas they’re supporting?

Forget Grey’s Anatomy.  It’s pure drama.  Most North American hospital fundraising departments use gala’s to raise money, as well as increase profile and are used as organized cultivation activities as well.  However, it is major gift fundraising that raises the significant portion of philanthropic revenue.
Special cultivation and engagement activities are regularly planned and utilized for major gift donors and major gift donor prospects. For example, inviting major gift donors to a ‘mock’ emergency room procedure or event, or a special tour of newly purchased equipment, are regular events. Major gift donors are regularly invited to visit areas of the hospital that they are supporting, and to identify and celebrate specially purchased equipment because of philanthropic revenue.

In Italy, since the Middle Ages , the construction of hospitals has always been seen as a community act. The first Community Foundations are born to get a common good, all together.Do you believe that bad politics, taxes, scandals etc. can be the reasons why people are less involved  participating in the society? More specifically, concerning to big contributors, but to the individual citizen too.

People are less involved participating in funding Hospitals and health care in Italy because they are not engaged for this purpose, nor are they regularly asked.


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