Nonprofit health-care organizations raised a record $8.9-billion in 2011, as donations rose more than 8 percent, according to a new report by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.
The 2011 numbers eclipsed the previous record of $8.5-billion raised in 2008 and reflects more than a billion-dollar gain over the $7.6-billion raised in 2009.
Among the findings based on data from 469 hospitals and other health-care institutions:
• The number of donors grew by more than 2 percent last year, and the number of gifts increased by 4 percent.
• Hospitals raised the biggest share of the money by attracting gifts to their annual fund and raising money from wealthy people who made big gifts.
Slower Rise in Costs
Fundraising cost increases eased somewhat, according to the study. Organizations reported a less than 3-percent gain in 2011, down from a 4-percent rise the year before.
Academic institutions were the most efficient in fundraising, bringing in $7.58 in cash or pledges for every dollar spent on appeals. Young health-care organizations were the least productive, as those less than five years old raised $1.70 in cash or pledges for every dollar in fundraising costs.
“We are encouraged in that these numbers demonstrate what we’ve been feeling this past year,” says William McGinly, president of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. “The donors have never left us, but they had been giving less. There is now a bit of renewed confidence in the economy.”
In addition to donors’ improved feelings of economic security, he says, they may be growing more mindful of the needs of medical institutions in general. “There is also a renewed understanding in the community about the importance of health care,” Mr. McGinly says. “All this uncertainty about administrative changes and changes in health-care reimbursements and such has been getting the attention of an awful lot of people, and our members are using that in a positive way.”