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Hospitals Have Largest Increase in Donations in Five Years, Report Finds

Donations to U.S. not-for-profit hospitals and health care systems increased by 8% in fiscal year 2010 to $8.26 billion, the largest one-year jump since 2006, according to a new Association for Healthcare Philanthropy report, Modern Healthcare reports (Evans, Modern Healthcare, 6/13).

According to AHP's annual survey, almost 60% of donations and grants came from individual donors. Annual giving accounted for 20% of all giving and was the largest source of funds raised. Major gifts accounted for 17%, followed by capital campaigns and special events, which each accounted for about 15%.

Despite strong donation growth, the average return on investment dropped in FY 2010. Last year, the cost-to-raise-a-dollar was 33 cents, and ROI declined by more than 4% to only $3.05 raised for each dollar spent on fundraising (Association for Healthcare Philanthropy release, 6/13). AHP attributes the decline to the struggling economy, noting, "Fundraising has become more challenging and, therefore, more expensive" (Modern Healthcare, 6/13).

AHP also noted that academic institutions, children's hospitals, programs that opened at least 15 years ago and hospitals with at least four professional fundraising staff members had higher than average fundraising success in FY 2010.

Donations in FY 2010 were directed toward a range of projects, including:

  • Construction and renovation (22%);
  • New equipment (20.6%);
  • General operations (17.6%); and
  • Community benefit programs (10.7%) (Association for Healthcare Philanthropy release, 6/13).
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