Four Tips for Introducing Physicians to Philanthropy
Physicians work in an environment where a mistake can lead to severe complications — and even death — for a patient. This may cause them to be less comfortable involving themselves in areas in which they do not feel prepared, such as philanthropy.
Here are four ways to approach physicians from a place of compassion as you seek to involve them in philanthropy:
- Have your physicians meet donors. Physicians, researchers and scientists often have compelling stories about the patients they’ve helped, the research they conduct and the reasons that motivated them to enter the profession. To allay any worries they may have about asking for money or otherwise engaging with donors, arrange situations in which they can share their personal stories.
- Expose physicians to the joy of giving. If a physician isn’t a donor themselves, they may not understand why donors want to give money. Connect them to the people behind the gifts. Help them understand the motivations and stories that inspire donors’ altruism.
- Use three framing questions to prepare the physician to speak to an audience. These questions will help them avoid getting lost in the scientific detail of their work and can serve as a catalyst to help the physician communicate with their audience in an accessible way.
- What are you working on?
- What are you on the cusp of solving?
- What are you proud of?
- Encourage physicians to use analogies to help the audience understand their work. For example, saying “an embryonic stem cell is like a kindergartener, because it can be anything it wants” translates a complex concept into language anyone can understand. Finding similar comparisons can build common understanding between your physicians and donors.