Hospital fundraising is essential to keeping your hospital’s doors open and providing critically important medical services for your community.  The best hospital fundraising will bring the hospital and the community even closer together, leading to a strong, long-term relationship.

Follow these tips and techniques to simplify your fundraising efforts and generate even more income…so your hospital can focus on what really matters: saving lives!

Be Specific

Your hospital is undoubtedly a complex organization with many different departments, doctors, and areas of expertise. It is truly amazing how much a hospital does on any given day! However, when raising money, it is best to focus on just one specific area. This makes it easier for a donor to understand exactly what the need is and how their contribution will help.

For example, you may want to talk about the need to purchase new medical equipment for the cardiology department, or the funding needed for your hospital’s research on Alzheimer’s. The idea is to be specific. Detail the need in an easy-to-understand manner and explain how the money for the equipment or research will make a difference in saving lives. Think specific and simple.

Tell Stories

Stories are an incredibly powerful communication technique that will aid all fundraising efforts. Stories draw donors in and create an emotional connection. 

The good news is that at the heart of every hospital are amazing stories of doctors and nurses helping patients in incredible ways. Each day brings new stories that donors would love to hear about, and these stories will help the donor to feel like the hero she truly is.

Often the challenge is collecting the stories.  Be sure all members of the hospital team understand why collecting stories is so important and set up systems to simplify the process of gathering stories. If you can, it can be best to hear the story from the patient’s point of view. Once the patient is home and feeling better, you will want to set up a time to talk with them about their experience and hear about it in their own words.

Consider Multiple Sources of Funding

Hospitals can receive funding from various sources. You will want to consider all of these sources of funding, and decide which ones work best for your hospital now. Possible sources of funding may include:

  • Corporations 
  • Healthcare foundations
  • Grant making organizations
  • Grateful Patients
  • Family and friends of a patient 
  • Community members
  • Hospital staff

Grateful Patients

Grateful patient programs are unique to hospitals. These programs are when hospitals ask patients for a gift, typically after they have left the hospital (and had a good experience!) Typically, these programs target wealthier patients who can more likely make a larger gift. This strategy can be very effective, but also must be done in a thoughtful, ethical and respectful manner.

Hospitals often use daily patient screening software to identify the best prospective donors, and many start to build the relationship with the patient while they are still in the hospital. You will likely want to wait until the patient is at home and feeling better and grateful for their positive experience with your hospital before asking for a donation.

Grateful patient programs give patients the opportunity to express their gratitude for the care they received. Use personalized communications and target the ask to the patient’s specific experience. For example, if a doctor who treated a patient is being recognized, the former patient may want to contribute with a gift in that doctor’s honor. 

Remember to always respect the patient’s privacy and follow HIPAA guidelines. 

The incredible work that hospitals do each day is nothing short of inspirational. The mission and hard work of the doctors and nurses to save patients resonates with so many individuals, many of who may want to make a donation. Remember to be specific and tell stories to emotionally connect with donors and motivate contributions.