By Robin R. Ganzert
As nonprofit organizations experienced mixed results for giving levels in 2003, health-care giving reported a remarkable 10.7 percent increase over 2002.
In fact, over 60 percent of health-care organizations reported increased contributions in 2003.
Why the increase in giving to the health-care sector, while education and human services sectors experienced declines?
Today’s environment has seen a renewed focus on issues related to health care, and the philanthropic community has responded.
The health-care agenda is broad and far-reaching, and garners a great deal of media coverage, particularly in a pre-election year.
Health-care issues reach across socio-economic factors, gender, ethnicity and geography.
Today, one can see health-care agendas in debates over issues ranging from obesity and diet crazes to global health crises such as the AIDS epidemic and childhood immunizations in third-world countries.
The agenda is just as powerful on the domestic front, particularly as the legislative map in a tight election year includes access to health-care and prescription prices.
The donor community has responded by giving generously to health-care nonprofits.
Donors today are passionate about their issues and their concerns.
Beyond the passion, there is a changing face of donors, a changing reach for their agendas, and changing expectations regarding accountability. The changes represent a new force in philanthropy.
Today’s donors are diverse from a demographic perspective.
They are actively engaged in health-care issues on the domestic as well as global fronts.
And they demand accountability from the nonprofits to which they have given generously.
While the health-care community actively seeks cures, solutions and results, donors are searching for ways to give, and looking at planned giving as a means to make the desired gift
Health-care organizations are now setting up planned-giving programs in record numbers, going beyond setting up bequest societies to actively market charitable gift-annuity programs.
Ensuring that donors have alternatives to making the gift is essential for a health-care nonprofit, as is ensuring that the programs are accountable.
Today’s health-care donor wants gifting alternatives, input into the agenda, and accountable programs.
But most of all, they want to solve the health-related crises that plague our world today.
Robin R. Ganzert is senior vice president, managing director, for the Wachovia National Center for Planned Giving in Winston-Salem, N.C.