DonorSearch Has the Cure for Ailing Healthcare Fundraising

It’s no secret that many nonprofits are experiencing funding headwinds.

Following Giving USA’s annual report showing a decline in total U.S. charitable donations, the annual Foundation Giving Forecast Survey shows that for the first time in years, more foundations are expecting a decline in giving than are expecting an increase.

This is a serious concern for every nonprofit in the country, but especially for healthcare nonprofits, where donations can very much make the difference in providing the best care possible. Thankfully, it’s not all grim news—DonorSearch is helping more healthcare organizations achieve and even exceed their goals than ever before. More on this in a moment.

         For now, healthcare nonprofits, in particular, hospital systems, face significant challenges in determining what members of their community possess the potential to become donors, furthering an organization’s ability to improve and save lives. That’s due to the sheer number of people in this community, and the fact that people of all demographics engage with healthcare services at some point in their lives. Without the ability to zoom in on lovers of live music, for instance, the way a center for the performing arts can, it is instead vital to understand the massive data available to source those individuals most engaged in the success of a healthcare nonprofit.

         An excellent example of how DonorSearch helps so many healthcare nonprofits successfully manage the sheer size of their communities comes from Children’s Minnesota Foundation, one of the largest pediatric health systems in the country. Director of Foundation Operations Dan Lantz explains that DonorSearch helped the foundation cut the total number of potential donors that receive outreach, providing key savings.

But the more targeted approach suggested by DonorSearch has paid off even more for Minnesota Children’s. According to Lantz, “We’re using the data from DonorSearch, and we’ve seen our annual giving donor average gift size increase.” The foundation has also enjoyed a bolstered response in planned gifts. Senior Prospect Research Associate Deb Dressly added, “AI is on target and always improving,” noting that “The results that we’ve seen speak for themselves and they are higher than anything we’ve experienced in the past.”

         A second healthcare nonprofit offers added context as to why DonorSearch is so useful in achieving fundraising goals. Katie Dean took over as Senior Director of Development Operations at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in January 2023. (Didi Hirsch provides mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide prevention services throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties in California.) Founded in 1942, the organization relies on donations to continue its crucial work, which is more in demand than ever before. Dean explains that when she joined Didi Hirsch, DonorSearch was a “must have” based on her previous experience using our tools. In fact, her positive experience with DonorSearch, both in previous roles and at Didi Hirsch, has made the advantages of leveraging our systems ever more apparent.

         To this point, Dean feels there are two main reasons DonorSearch is particularly important to healthcare nonprofits. She explains, “First, it evaluates likelihood of philanthropic behavior, not just potential wealth.” By focusing engagement, DonorSearch AI uncovers potential donors that have long been ignored by wealth screening. Secondly, she finds great value in the system’s ease of use. “You can have your team jump into DonorSearch and it might take a half hour of, ‘Hey, here’s where you find this… here’s where you find that…’ but it doesn’t require intensive training and time on the backend for the team. And it remains a very user-friendly tool,” all according to Dean.

         Another benefit of DonorSearch for healthcare nonprofits is the unique positive impact our tools can have on grateful patient programs. These often struggle due to internal pushback from physicians who consider them to only focus on patients based on wealth. When emphases are not placed on merely this consideration, but instead on the type of deep engagement DonorSearch Senior Vice President Nathan Chappell calls “Radical Connection” in his co-authored book The Generosity Crisis, physicians become much more interested in teaming up with fundraisers.

         Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Sarah TeDesco explains, “Physicians are analytical people. They understand data. When grateful patient programs are driven by patient engagement and gratitude instead of wealth, doctors rise to the occasion. We’ve heard from so many healthcare clients that physicians partner with in grateful patient programs. They’re eager to review patients’ DonorSearch scores weekly, and even recommend patients to fundraising counterparts based on their own estimation of engagement. The net result is a successful, grateful patient program where everyone is engaged and enthusiastic.”

         Whether the challenge at your healthcare nonprofit is gaining control over a massive amounts of data, targeting your outreach efforts to leverage resources most effectively, or revitalizing a grateful patient program, DonorSearch has the knowledge, experience, and tools to help you succeed. To learn just how we can help your organization thrive even in a difficult giving climate, please contact DonorSearch for a demo today. And if you are an experienced non-profit professional interested in helping new nonprofits build for future success every day, consider a career with DonorSearch.    

Additional Resources

Tackling the Generosity Crisis with AI: An Innovative Approach to Nonprofit Fundraising

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5 Best Practices for Dashboards that Drive Effective Action

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Rise & Lead: Essentials for Emerging Nonprofit Leaders

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