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CEO Corner: Fundraising Resources for Challenging Times

Alice Ayres, MBA
Published:  03/13/2020

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As Plato wrote, “Necessity is the mother of all invention.” We have certainly entered a time when creativity, innovation and resilience are not only important but required. All the ways we go about our work, our play, and our daily lives have changed. Events and galas, two of our most tried-and-true donor engagement strategies of events, need to be upended in a reality where events are being cancelled, both big and small. Our fundraising goals, which are always ambitious, now seem insurmountable because we have fewer ways to work with donors, an economic environment that is uncertain at best, and no idea how illness will affect our donor populations.

Meanwhile, the economic impact of increased ICU occupancy and bad debt threatens already-thin margins. Our healthcare organizations need us now more than ever.

And we need to lean on each other more than ever. That's why we are assembling resources to help you work through the tough questions and think about the best, creative responses to the challenges you are facing.

We have created a philanthropy COVID-19 resource page and will be hosting a webinar, Fundraising in Crisis: Healthcare Philanthropy and COVID-19, on March 19 at 2pm. Jeanne Jachim, president of the Virginia Mason Foundation in Seattle and Ingrid Perry, president and CEO (retired) of the Mackenzie Health Foundation in Ontario, will lead a conversation about their experience managing foundations in crisis situations. They will share recommendations for communicating with donors, supporting your team, supporting the hospital's response, evaluating your planned live events, and identifying opportunities amidst the challenges.

I’ve also begun a “reading list” of things that I am finding useful around issues ranging from how to host engaging virtual events to effective crisis communications to how to be the best colleague to those on the front line. 

I’d love this to be a collaborative effort: please send along anything you see that ought to be added to the list.

Please let AHP know how else we can help. We are, as always, honored to serve you as you transform healthcare through philanthropy.

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Meet The Author

Alice Ayres
Alice Ayres, MBA
President and CEO
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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