Healthcare Philanthropy: It Takes a Team
As a fundraiser in a healthcare setting, you work with donors who have experienced meaningful, life-changing care at your organization. Indeed, some of the most life-changing experiences occur in a medical setting. During these vulnerable moments, patients and families remember the people who made an extra effort to truly connect with them.
As you encourage healthcare professionals at your organization to grasp the philanthropic opportunity and their own important roles, it is essential to explain why their everyday routines can remain in the memories of patients and family members for a lifetime.
This donor received excellent healthcare during his time as a patient, but one particular experience inspired him to contribute financially. He explained how his engagement transformed into philanthropy:
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is one of those things that, as you can imagine, doesn’t make your day. That’s how it all got started: a diagnosis that one prefers not to have had. When I was being rolled into the operating room, the young man pushing the gurney said, “How do you feel?” I felt like he was my coach, like back in college. And I said, “Well, I’m a little worried. I was in waiting room number 13.”
He said, “Don’t worry. You’re going to go to operating room number 7.”
Then, when I came out of it, he said, “Well, how did you do?” And I said, “They told me that they got it all.” He said, “What did I tell you?” The man made me smile at a time that it was nice to smile. I’ll never forget that.
It’s not so much the end results; it was the process that I was amazed at. Yes, I am happy [with the results]—don’t get me wrong—but what amazed me throughout the whole process of the thing, is these are people to whom medicine is a calling. It’s not just the doctors, and the nurses, but even the people who push you into the operating room. I remember thinking, in the end, you know, we need hospitals like this. I talked to my wife, and we decided that if we could do something [philanthropically], we would. The hospital is now part of our giving program.
This patient became a donor because he received meaningful, personal care. As fundraisers, you can help caregivers understand that their everyday actions make a major impact on the patients and families they serve—even when these activities may seem routine. Healthcare philanthropy is often inspired by moments like this.
Learn more about how to connect meaningfully with caregivers at your organization by attending The Art and Science of Healthcare Philanthropy workshop.
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