Originally published in the April 4, 2017 AHP Connect
This information is taken from the 2016 AHP Annual International Conference session “Showing Relevance to Your Board and C-Suite through Performance Benchmarking” by James DeLauro, Ph.D., Principal, DeLauro & Associates Consulting; Nancy Gregovich, Foundation Operations Officer, Intermountain Foundation; Tamra von Schroeck, Senior Director of Operations & Finance, Philanthropy, Dignity Health Philanthropy; and Randy Varju, MBA, FAHP, CFRE, CDO & Foundation President, Advocate Charitable Foundation.
“We’ve always benchmarked with AHP; for us, it is the definitive benchmarking tool as we’re looking at different areas of improvement... it’s rooted in well-tested definitions that are provided in their Standards Manual and helps bring uniformity to the data once it’s presented.”—Randy Varju, Advocate Charitable Foundation
Health care development professionals have common goals, but they have no consistent standards for measuring and reporting performance. There are multiple benchmarking services, each using different metrics, and foundations typically subscribe to different industry groups. Therefore, when fundraisers talk to executive leadership, they have no united voice, and communicating the value of philanthropy is difficult, especially in environments where philanthropy is not a strategic focus in healthcare systems.
The following institutions are members of the Health System Philanthropy Leadership Group (HSPLG), which whose goal is to promote unblinded benchmarking. HSPLG is comprised of development officers representing 15 US health systems and $450 million in philanthropy revenue. Creating groups like HSPLG and building the science behind philanthropy allow fundraisers to create advocacy, credibility and leadership in our field.