Quiet campaign

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — The WakeMed Foundation has hired an executive director and launched the quiet phase of the hospital’s first-ever capital campaign, which could kick off publicly by the end of 2006 and total $50 million.

“Our effort is to take WakeMed over the next threshold of growth and provide funds for things that are on the horizon in terms of technology, services and health care for all those in the community, regardless of their ability to pay,” says Ron Doggett, campaign chair and retired chairman and CEO of Goodmark Foods.

The foundation this year also plans for the first time to expand its annual drive beyond the hospital staff and board to include the community and former patients, says Kevin P. McCarthy, a veteran health-care fundraiser who joined the foundation Oct. 1 as executive director and vice president for development.

The capital campaign already has secured $6.3 million, including deferred and endowed gifts expected to total over $1.5 million, he says.

Gifts so far include $1 million from an individual and more than five gifts in the “high six figures,” he says.

The foundation, which now has a staff of four people, also plans to hire a director of development to help manage the campaign, and aims to boost its annual drive with a gala Feb. 28 at North Ridge Country Club featuring Tim Russert, anchor of NBC News’ Meet the Press.

Roughly half the dollars raised in the campaign will support capital needs such as new cardiac-care facilities, expansion of emergency services and response capability, expansion of operations in Cary, and new ambulatory services in communities such as Apex, says McCarthy.

The other half of the campaign would aim to boost WakeMed’s endowment, currently $4 million, to between $20 million and $25 million.

The first stage of the quiet phase, to last through the middle of this year, focuses on individuals in the WakeMed “family” who might be able to make gifts of $1 million or more, as well as those who could make gifts of $250,000, with McCarthy spending roughly half his time matching members of the campaign cabinet or hospital staff with prospective donors.

The campaign, to last through 2011, marking WakeMed’s 50th anniversary, will focus 75 percent of its efforts on raising money from individuals, with the remainder targeted to corporations and private foundations.

The annual fund drive never has solicited former patients or the community but instead has focused on hospital physicians, members of its board and its foundation’s board, and more than 100 corporations, with individuals and corporations each accounting for roughly half the drive.

“We have a very, very strong internal fundraising operation,” McCarthy says. “I’m trying to expand that universe to past patients and the community, who should be grateful that WakeMed is such a first-class facility.”

In addition to hiring a new development director by April 1, McCarthy also plans to hire another fundraising professional this year to support annual giving and special events.

He also is assembling a committee of professional advisers who can work with potential donors on making planned gifts through wills and estate planning.

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