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A Love Letter to Philanthropy Officers: Part 3


February is often referred to as “the Month of Love,” so what better time is there to celebrate the true meaning of philanthropy, which is all about love? Originating from the Greek word, philanthrōpía, philanthropy quite literally means “love of humankind.” This five-part series celebrates philanthropy and serves as a love letter to philanthropy officers by offering perspectives on the opportunities in health care philanthropy for prospective donors to realize their goals. Continue reading for Part 3 of the series or begin with Part 1.

Dear Philanthropy Officer,

This is a message specially crafted to address a common query from potential health care philanthropic partners that has persisted for over 25 years: “If I cover my medical expenses, why should I still consider donating to my hospital?”

The answer to this query lies in the following unique opportunities that health care philanthropy presents: the chance to influence strategy, become a leader, enhance well-being and contribute to reparations in your community.

Influence Strategy

As complex organizations having to continuously navigate rapidly changing times and regulations, hospitals often have several top strategic projects. Your philanthropic gift, aligned with these strategic priorities, can be the deciding factor in what gets advanced. This is not just about funding; it’s about partnership. Your support helps shape the hospital’s strategy, ensuring that your contribution has a substantial, meaningful impact. It’s an opportunity to be part of a large-scale change that benefits your neighbors and loved ones, a truly inspiring reason to support health care.

Become a Leader

Health care is a common topic of discussion in any community. Opinions on physicians, procedures and even hospital cafeteria food are shared and debated. By contributing to your local hospital, you become more than just a participant in these discussions; you become a community leader. You’ll be updated on the latest news, advancements and innovations, giving you a deeper understanding of the care provided in your community. As William Stafford, one of America’s most prolific poets, said, “All heroes go home,” implying that real change starts at home, in our communities.

Enhance Well-Being

Your support ensures quality health care close to home, benefiting not just you, but your family and loved ones. It’s an investment in the health and well-being of your community. When you invest in health care, you are helping to ensure the best physicians and clinicians are recruited and supported, the best equipment is purchased and the most modern technologies are available to enhance the well-being of everyone in your community.

Contribute to Reparations

Health care philanthropy also provides an avenue for contributing to reparations. In an article entitled The Case for Health Reparations, published by Frontiers in Public Health, the authors share, “First, to honor the voice of marginalized groups, reparative policies must be shaped by the communities in which they are trying to serve.” Philanthropic dollars can be designated to support equity and equality outcomes, much like scholarship dollars. As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Your contribution could be a part of that change. We continue to see inequity in the health care industry and if addressing those disparities aligns with your values, health care is a solid investment where you can truly make a quick difference.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. MARGARET MEAD

Ultimately, by investing in health care philanthropy, prospective health care donors can create meaningful and lasting change within their local hospital and community. Through strategic giving, philanthropic partners can help shape the future of health care, ensuring that everyone has access to quality care when they need it most.

Accordant Perspectives_Love Letter to Philanthropy Officers Part 3
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PART 1 PART 2       PART 4       PART 5

About the Author: Heather Wiley Starankovic, CFRE, CAP®, is a Principal Consultant with Accordant. She is dedicated to supporting staff members and creating programs that keep talented and dedicated servant leaders withing the field. You can reach Heather by email at or by connecting through LinkedIn.


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The Accordant Team has published a number of books to advance the efforts of health care philanthropy and help development leaders everywhere. 

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Accordant is honored to collaborate with American Hospital Association Trustee Services to provide issue papers, templates and webinars to support the involvement of healthcare trustees and foundation board members in advancing philanthropy. These resources can also be found on the AHA Trustee website.

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