Steve Gordon, the new President and CEO for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital recently shared with me an article on “building a philanthropy campaign.” The article titled “Growing More Important” noted how philanthropy is growing more important for healthcare institutions as we struggle with healthcare reform and the impact of rising healthcare costs. We at BMH, like hospitals nationwide are challenged with how to recruit and retain quality physicians, stay current with technological advances, maintain our physical plant, and provide quality care for our community with shrinking dollars.

While philanthropy can not solve all of these challenges it is an important piece of the puzzle. In reading the article a number of necessary factors in building philanthropy success were listed.

  • A compelling vision
  • A top down culture of philanthropy
  • Physicians buy in
  • Effective volunteer leadership group.

BMH has all of these key factors:

  • Our vision of a strong community hospital; a hospital that is independent, locally governed, dedicated to community needs and values and provides quality healthcare is a vision that has kept BMH strong and independent for more than 100 years. And is a vision we continue to work to maintain.
  • Steve within the first two days of working at BMH made a significant leadership pledge to the hospital. He shared his philosophy of giving and his belief that we at BMH need to give first, show that we value the institution before we can ask anyone else for support.
  • Last year just under 80 percent of our active physicians gave to the annual campaign. Nationally that average is under 25 percent. Yeah BMH docs!
  • And our volunteers are the best…from those who work regularly in the hospital to our board and committee members. The board members set the tone for our development efforts and the development committee and the many volunteer solicitors work to raise the dollars. Each year, the needs increase and every year our solicitors make the calls, write the notes, and ask for the support and our community steps up.

As all of us continue to evaluate our charitable giving and make decisions about allocation of shrinking dollars we look for the return on our investment. At BMH the return is

  • A high quality local hospital where you don’t need to travel to get good care
  • Well trained, experienced, board certified physicians
  • Up to date medical technology
  • Strong leadership and good fiscal management

Thank you for the many gifts, many years of giving, and your investment in quality care for our community.

Written by: Tracy Boucher

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