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Healthcare Fundraising: A Guide to Intelligent Philanthropy

Healthcare fundraising is an essential component of any successful development strategy for healthcare institutions. These programs give patients and families a philanthropic outlet to express gratitude for the healthcare providers that made a difference in their life or the life of a loved one. Their meaningful donations then go a long way to help healthcare institutions pay their staff, invest in new technology, equipment, etc.

However, navigating the world of donations and solicitations with the added complexity of preserving patient privacy can be challenging. 

To help you successfully implement a healthcare fundraising plan, we’ve created this guide to healthcare fundraising using artificial intelligence. In the guide, we’ll address the following topics to get you started on the right foot: 

  1. Facing the Challenges of Healthcare Fundraising
  2. Healthcare Philanthropy Essentials
  3. DonorSearch: An Intelligent Partner in Healthcare Fundraising

Utilizing the power of artificial intelligence for healthcare fundraising is much easier than you might think. By the end of this guide, you’ll be an expert in the essentials of impactful healthcare fundraising and how artificial intelligence can improve your approach. Let’s get started.

Click through to learn how DonorSearch can help you with healthcare fundraising.
In this section, we'll cover some of the challenges that come with healthcare fundraising.

Facing the Challenges of Healthcare Fundraising

Healthcare fundraising involves many challenges that do not arise in other contexts due to the unique setting and relationships between potential donors (patients) and healthcare providers. Therefore, when participating in healthcare fundraising, it’s always essential to be mindful of the role that healthcare providers play and how they can assist development staff while always maintaining the privacy and trust of patients. Let’s explore a few of these challenges, so you’re equipped to overcome them. 

Donor Stewardship 

Donor stewardship always requires a particular level of care and attention to successfully develop and maintain authentic relationships. No matter who your donors are, preserving the line between professional and personal while still genuinely connecting with a donor is of the utmost importance. When it comes to healthcare fundraising, this is even more essential. 

Due to the sensitive nature of doctor-patient relationships, how you approach donors is incredibly important for effective healthcare fundraising

To better navigate these relationships, you must understand each prospective donor’s affinity, propensity, and capacity to give through robust prospect research. However, while you want to learn more about prospective donors through prospect research and personal interactions, you should be careful never to violate their privacy or risk their trusted relationship with a healthcare provider.

To ensure that your donor stewardship goes smoothly, you should:

  • Extensively train non-philanthropy stakeholders (doctors, nurses, etc.) to interact with patients in this context. 
  • Ensure that all team members thoroughly understand all patient privacy rules, regulations, and best practices.
  • Do extensive prospect research to understand your prospective donors before soliciting donations. 
  • Begin stewardship and solicitation with a detailed plan so that everyone is on the same page. 

Taking the extra time to prepare and educate everyone who plays an active role in donor stewardship will help your team avoid any hiccups from the unique nuances of health fundraising. 

Inadequate Data and Information

Another challenge healthcare fundraising programs face is securing enough data and information about donors to steward them effectively. 

As we mentioned, prospect research is crucial for successful donor stewardship. However, not all prospect research efforts are made equal. To connect with donors and make an impact, you’ll need to invest the time and money into superior prospect research that utilizes advanced methods for helping you identify top prospects. 

DonorSearch’s philanthropic database, the largest globally, ensures that your organization can quickly discover a wealth of prospect data points. In addition, with DonorSearch’s AI and machine learning technology, you’ll be able to identify top prospects, segment, and categorize prospective donors to approach stewardship more efficiently. 

Data Privacy and Security

Because of healthcare data regulations, like HIPAA, accomplishing the prospect research and donor stewardship we’ve discussed can be easier said than done. 

HIPAA gives patients more control of their health data. It prevents patient health information from being shared with anyone without consent or knowledge. Even in situations where patient information can be shared, it’s important to prevent accidental leaks and privacy violations. This standard of security applies to fundraising.

As you embark on your healthcare fundraising journey, you must ensure that any fundraising partners and platforms have the highest privacy and data security standards. Even an accidental violation of privacy can pose serious issues for your organization. 

At DonorSearch, all of our employees undergo thorough HIPAA training and master our strict data security and file processing methods. These methods are specifically designed with data security in mind and are a leading factor in why DonorSearch is one of the most reliable partners in healthcare fundraising. 

In this section, we'll cover some healthcare philanthropy essentials.

Healthcare Philanthropy Essentials

There are different types of healthcare fundraising, with grateful patient programs being one of the most well-known forms of hospital fundraising. However, regardless of your fundraising setting, your healthcare fundraising strategy must involve these essential elements. 

1. Robust Prospect Profiles 

Prospect profiles are a collection of the relevant data you gathered during the screening process. These help you develop your outreach and solicitation strategies.

Without robust prospect profiles, it will be much harder to get to know your donors and maximize your stewardship and cultivation efforts. With DonorSearch’s AI and machine learning capabilities and expansive philanthropic database, you’ll be able to reference extensive amounts of publicly-available information that is then used to make predictions about your prospective donors automatically. 

This ensures that you can focus your efforts where they are likely to drive the most impact and can effectively adjust your stewardship and solicitation strategy for each individual prospect. This increases your chances of success, but highly individualized and tailored approaches can also improve your relationships with donors. 

Some data points you’ll be able to collect with DonorSearch’s database include: 

  • Real estate holdings
  • SEC holdings
  • Political contributions
  • Business affiliations
  • Demographic data
  • Consumer data
  • Past philanthropic giving
  • Involvement in other philanthropic organizations, like board service

This information enables you to form detailed predictions about which donors may be ready to give their first gift, make an additional donation, become major donors, and more. As your philanthropy and healthcare teams work together, your data will play a large role in informing your strategy and giving everyone the information they need to further your institution’s goals. 

2. Grateful Patient Program

A grateful patient program is evidence of the excellent work that your healthcare organization has done. These programs give patients a chance to express gratitude and extend support to the individual staff members and departments that played meaningful roles in their care. 

However, successful grateful patient programs require a serious investment of time and resources from your healthcare organization, so it’s crucial that you have all of the following components incorporated into your plan: 

  • Dedicated staff. Healthcare professionals and leadership will need to be involved as well as philanthropy experts in helping steward donors.
  • Budget. Identify any technology, stewardship, marketing, or other costs associated with starting or improving a grateful patient program.
  • Privacy guidelines. One of the biggest challenges of working with healthcare data is how strict the data privacy laws are. Therefore, it’s crucial that your entire team understands all guidelines and abides by them.
  • Data processes. Having clear processes for data hygiene and security will make your program run much smoother.
  • Screening processes. Using your data and prospect research, you can identify potential donors or current donors who may be a good fit for a higher donation. DonorSearch’s AI can make this process incredibly easy.
  • Recruitment strategies. Engaging new potential donors can be difficult in a healthcare setting. Make sure you have clear strategies and best practices for how to engage different donors.

Overall, a grateful patient or giving program is crucial for any successful healthcare fundraising initiative. In addition, the trusted relationships and often life-changing experiences between healthcare providers and patients serve as an excellent foundation for meaningful fundraising.

3. Comprehensive Training on Philanthropy

For example, when working with healthcare professionals, like in a grateful patient program, it’s important to understand that while they may have good relationships with patients, they are not trained, philanthropy experts. 

That’s why you should ensure that your staff is trained to navigate those relationships in the context of philanthropy successfully. Additionally, your staff will have to know how to properly use the data in prospect profiles for donor stewardship. 

Access to fundraising and prospecting data can help your doctors, nurses, and administrators better understand the purpose and goals of philanthropy efforts and enable them to connect more with patients. Once they also understand how to best utilize this data through their philanthropy training, the healthcare professionals collaborating with you on your fundraising strategy will be able to successfully fulfill their crucial role.

This section will explain how DonorSearch can serve as a partner in your healthcare fundraising efforts.

DonorSearch: An Intelligent Partner in Healthcare Fundraising

When it comes to managing your donor data, creating robust profiles, and identifying your top prospects for stewardship, there is no better partner than DonorSearch. DonorSearch has the next generation of fundraising tools that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify prospects more accurately than ever before. 

DonorSearch’s advanced AI and machine learning technology has incredibly accurate prospect prediction capabilities that can make a huge difference in your donor stewardship. Some of the predictions include:

  • Who’s going to donate in the next 30 days
  • Non-donors most likely to make their first gift
  • Donors are most likely to donate again
  • Donors most likely to give over $250
  • Donors most likely to respond (engagement score)
  • Best way to reach out to a donor

While artificial intelligence is great for automating and optimizing, the added benefit of machine learning means that the longer you use DonorSearch’s products, the better the algorithm will become at making predictions for your unique set of donors and prospects. AI and machine learning are the future. With DonorSearch, you can take your health fundraising to the next level. 

Wrapping Up 

To overcome the unique challenges of healthcare fundraising, you’ll need an excellent team trained in healthcare philanthropy, but you’ll also need the right tools and knowledge. DonorSearch’s cutting-edge AI can differentiate between average results and a healthcare fundraising strategy that blows it out of the water.  

Click through to learn how DonorSearch can help you with healthcare fundraising.

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