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A Love Letter to Philanthropy Officers: Part 4


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 4 of the series or begin with Part 1.

Dear Philanthropy Officer,

This week, we present you with a love letter that tackles the lingering question from prospective health care donors: ‘If my taxes support the hospital, why should I make additional donations?’ Let’s uncover the profound impact a philanthropic partner’s contribution can make.

Health care philanthropy offers several unique and profound opportunities including the chance to honor and celebrate your family’s values, express gratitude and experience the joy of giving.

Honor and Celebrate Your Family’s Values

As Dikembe Mutombo, humanitarian and former professional basketball player, once said, “I come from a large family, but I was not raised with a fortune. Something more was left me, and that was family values.”

Legacy is an integral aspect of family values. The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors highlight ‘Legacy’ as one of the motivations for donors: “Legacy donors seek to influence the future, desiring to be remembered for more than just financial success. Their philanthropy is a public commitment to making a better world. Some legacy donors aim to create a family culture of generosity and public service, passing down values as well as resources to the next generation.”¹

Health care philanthropy provides a unique platform for donors and philanthropic partners to express their family values and practice them with joy, while also making an immediate impact. Whether family members are passionate about education, children, the elderly, equity or even art, your local hospital can weave these interests together for a meaningful impact. By aligning your philanthropic goals with your family’s values, you create a legacy that resonates with generations to come.

Express Gratitude in a Meaningful Way

In addition to honoring family values, health care philanthropy allows donors to express gratitude in a meaningful way. Research has shown that expressing gratitude has numerous benefits, both for the giver and the recipient. When you support your local hospital, you can show appreciation for the exceptional care provided by physicians, nurses and other clinical providers. By making a legacy gift to an area that made a difference in the life of a loved one, you not only express gratitude but also inspire others to do the same. Read more about the benefits of expressing gratitude here: Discovering the Health and Well-Being Benefits of Gratitude

Experience the Joy of Giving

Philanthropy is not just about financial contributions; it’s about experiencing the joy of giving. Numerous studies have shown that giving to others can increase happiness and overall well-being. When you support health care philanthropy, you become part of a larger community working towards a common goal, improving the health and well-being of your community. The joy that comes from knowing you have made a positive impact on someone’s life is immeasurable.

It’s about honoring family values, expressing gratitude and experiencing the joy of giving.

In conclusion, supporting health care philanthropy is not just about financial contributions. It’s about honoring family values, expressing gratitude and experiencing the joy of giving. By aligning your philanthropic goals with your family’s values, expressing gratitude for exceptional care and embracing the joy of giving, you can make a lasting impact on your community and create a legacy that brings joy and fulfillment to your family for generations to come.

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