AHP Connect Articles

AHP Connect delivers updates on industry news and research, educational and professional opportunities, best practices and other articles related to health care philanthropy.

Shifting Focus: 3 Must Haves for a Major Foundational Change

Dana Krauss
Published:  07/10/2019

Shifting Focus: Foundational ChangeWhen Queen Alexandra Children’s Health Care Foundation transitioned into the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver, expanding their geographical bounds of support, their attention on healthcare delivery shifted to a focus on healthcare access.

In a recent podcast interview, Veronica Carroll, CEO of the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver, shared her view on the three most important sources of support to push a foundation through a major period of change.



1. Donors

Donors are savvier than we may think. They recognize the ongoing shift in the healthcare industry from situational health management to community health and are willing to support foundations who have clear and plausible plans of action for donation allocations. To prepare this appeal for your donors, think of the different questions they might ask you about what role their donation would play in the overall success of the foundation. A donation toward an investment in an MRI machine has a much clearer impact than a donation toward a program or mission expansion. To bridge this gap in clarity, ask your donor what kind of community they want to live in. While “big picture proposals” may be harder to envision, connecting a donor’s contribution to a specific community-oriented goal within the larger appeal may place their impact into perspective.


2. Data

Both quantitatively and qualitatively, data is the keystone of any foundational shift. When aiming to focus on a regional population rather than a site-specific population, data is the main indicator of where the work of the foundation is most needed. Survey your community. Ask where they believe help is most needed, what troubles them and how their experiences with the current healthcare system have impacted their lives. Use this data to make an actionable plan and to educate the donor base. By showing donors the status of the community with hard data and statements from constituents, they can be placed into a position of ideological empowerment — further understanding your proposal and perhaps brainstorming a few ideas of their own. After the proposals are executed, benchmark your performance. Are you and your donors satisfied with the results? Is the ROI what you had aimed for? Data not only sets up your foundation for the fulfillment of new goals but provides a consistent base for reevaluation and organizational betterment.


3. Leadership

From the get-go, any big shift in the mission of a foundation cannot be possible without leadership support. Start by blending the sentiments of the public with your pitch for the new mission. Put the needs of the community members into actionable items presented to your team. Exemplify the ways in which your leadership can help enhance the day-to-day life of the new community in which you serve. Once the pitch is approved and the plan is in motion, encourage your leadership to create connections to other regional agencies, groups or foundations with similar missions. Consider ensuring the sustainability of your foundation with a service-oriented point of view rather than a competitive mindset.

Making any alterations to an already well-functioning system can pose many uphill battles—but with the backing of your donors, data and leadership, success is right on the horizon.



NEWS  /06/06/22
We can improve the health of everyone in our communities if we all accelerate just a little bit.
NEWS  /05/24/21
Learn about why it's important for your organization to reframe its thinking to a health equity lens.
NEWS  /06/19/19
At last week's AHP New Jersey Bridge Series event, I was struck by one area of discussion: the changing interests of major gift donors.
NEWS  /07/09/19
When considering a long-term goal for your fundraising achievements, there is nowhere to go but up — but what if your data isn’t up to the task?

Meet The Author

AHP logo
Dana Krauss
Communications Team
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

Share This

facebook-icon twitter-icon linkedin-icon