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Conversations in Health Care Philanthropy

AHP Staff
Published:  07/30/2018

PanelAdapted from The Ask podcast, “Concerns and Solutions: Three of Canada’s top non-profit leaders tackle the most pressing issues fundraisers face today” with Doug Rankmore, CEO of Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Meghan Stovel McKnight, Senior Vice President and COO at Trillium Health Partners Foundation and Ted Garrard, CEO of SickKids Foundation at AHP’s 2018 Convene Canada Conference

At AHP’s 2018 Convene Canada conference, “The Ask” host Nicole Nakoneshny moderated a panel discussion with three of Canada’s top nonprofit leaders: Doug Rankmore, CEO of Kelowna General Hospital Foundation; Meghan Stovel McKnight, Senior Vice President and COO at Trillium Health Partners Foundation and Ted Garrard, CEO of SickKids Foundation. They discussed current trends and issues in health care philanthropy, the idea of innovation and how to increase unrestricted revenue on gifts.  

Current Trends in Fundraising

A few of the current trends in health care fundraising are diversification, third-party advisors and advanced data analytics. The increase of diversification in revenue has challenged traditional health care philanthropy. Philanthropy is no longer just business-like, but is fully engaged in the business realm. Additionally, the presence of family foundations, financial advisors and third parties between the donor and the fundraiser is becoming increasingly common. In many cases, this has taken away the ability of the fundraiser to have a direct influential relationship with the donor. The use of big data and analytics is also becoming important in modern fundraising. Data is being used not only to support decision-making in organizations but as a predictive measure in marketing campaigns.


A word that is commonly overused in health care philanthropy is innovation. What does innovation mean? How does an organization become innovative? According to Garrard, innovation must be a part of the culture of your organization. It is not just an event. Innovation needs to be something that everyone understands, embraces and cultivates in their everyday work. You must allow your team to take risks and even fail when implementing their innovative ideas for your organization to grow.

Raising Unrestricted Revenue

To increase your organization’s unrestricted revenue, you must first invest in programs that typically allow for unrestricted gifts. Ninety percent of your fundraising programs should generate unrestricted gifts. A common option is to place a small fee on designated gifts that will become unrestricted revenue to allocate somewhere else in the organization. Additionally, you can train your fundraisers to ask donors who want to give to make a portion of their gift on an unrestricted basis.


Check out the full variety of topics, questions and answers in the podcast here.

NEWS  /10/11/18
The Charitable Giving Coalition’s member organizations, including AHP, conducted a survey in July 2018 to gauge the initial effect of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, passed by Congress in December 2017.

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