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A Love Letter to Philanthropy Officers: Part 5

PART 5 of a 5-PART SERIES

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 5 of the series or begin with Part 1.


Dear Philanthropy Officer,


Today, we conclude our month-long series by shedding light on a question from prospective health care donors that has persisted for decades: “If hospitals make so much money, why should I consider donating to them?”


It is crucial to understand the benefits of supporting health care philanthropy, as it offers philanthropic partners a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on their community and align their values with meaningful projects. Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of health care philanthropy and why it is essential:


Advance Excellence and Innovate

By supporting health care philanthropy, philanthropic partners have the power to advance excellence and innovation in health care. Donations can contribute to groundbreaking research, the acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment and the development of cutting-edge treatment options. This ensures that their community has access to the highest quality care close to home.


Enhance Care in Your Community

Numerous studies have highlighted the positive impact of philanthropy on health care institutions and the communities they serve. For example, research has determined that philanthropic support significantly contributes to the financial stability of hospitals, allowing them to invest in critical programs and services. Additionally, philanthropic investments in health care lead to improved patient outcomes, enhanced patient experiences and increased community engagement.


Align Family Values with Tangible Actions

Expressing gratitude and giving with joy are integral aspects of health care philanthropy. Philanthropic donations can be a meaningful way to pay tribute to one’s family values. Whether it’s supporting a cause that has impacted a loved one or creating a legacy of generosity and public service, health care philanthropy provides a platform to align family values with tangible actions.


As you close out this February month, following the year-end giving season, consider taking a proactive approach by asking prospective donors and philanthropic partners about their goals and priorities in health care. Even if health care does not become one of their top three priorities, this provides an opportunity for education and engagement. They may be inspired to pass along the knowledge and consider supporting health care philanthropy in the future.


If a prospective donor remains unconvinced and believes that hospitals are solely driven by medical billing, it is essential to engage in further discussion. One valuable resource to reference is Bharath Krishnamurthy’s article Margin Misconceptions, which debunks misconceptions about hospital finances and their impact on patient care.


…philanthropic partners have the power to advance excellence and innovation in health care.

In conclusion, supporting health care philanthropy is not about imaginary coffers of wealth. It is about making a lasting impact on your community while also inspiring and meeting the needs of your heart and values. By advancing excellence and innovation, enhancing care, and aligning family values with tangible actions, philanthropic partners contribute to the health and well-being of their community and inspire others to do the same. So, embrace those potential health care donors, outreach and enjoy the possibility of having secret admirers who are yet to discover the joy of health care philanthropy.

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


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 Heather@AccordantHealth.com 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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