Boosting endowment

By Todd Cohen

HIGH POINT, N.C. — After raising nearly $1.2 million last year in endowment to celebrate its 100th anniversary, High Point Regional Health System is holding it annual endowment drive in May.

The hospital system, which typically raises $400,000 to $500,000 a year for endowment, plus roughly $1 million more for other needs, also is working with a consultant to develop a range of fundraising strategies.

“We want to have a cafeteria approach,” says Meredith Eanes, vice president of development. “We want to be able to accept whatever gift vehicle is best for the donor.”

The market value of the endowment, created in 1986, has grown to roughly $23 million.

In addition, 18 donors have made planned gifts, mainly through trusts, that are expected to be worth another $1.6 million when they are realized, Eanes says, and the endowment knows about planned gifts from another 12 donors, although their expected value is not know.

Instead of a dollar goal, the annual endowment drive typically aims to add 30 to 45 new “partners” to its base of more than 500 donors, most of them individuals.

Aiming to raise $1 million for the anniversary celebration, last year’s drive exceeded its goal by $184,000.

That drive was chaired by Dr. Harry “Frosty” Culp, a High Point dentist who this year chairs the endowment’s 25-member board, which was headed last year by Archdale community volunteer Elizabeth Aldridge.

Based on priorities set by Jeff Miller, the health system’s CEO, the endowment board recommends to the health-system board that it spend roughly 4 percent of the endowment’s investment earnings on system projects.

In the fiscal year that ends Oct. 30, that spending will total more than $814,000, Eanes says.

That includes $175,000 to the Community Clinic of High Point, a free clinic the health system helped create in 1993 that serves more than 2,000 patients a year, Eanes says.

The endowment also is giving nearly $153,000 to the Millis Regional Health Education Center, a department of the hospital that the late philanthropist Jim Millis and his wife, Jesse, helped launch in 1998 to educate school-age children about health.

The center, which is located on the hospital campus and offers classes that mirror the state’s standard course of study, serves roughly 10,000 children a year from 11 counties.

And the endowment is giving more than $485,000 to help the health system buy a $2.9 million positron-emission-tomography scanner used to detect various types of cancer, and to help diagnose whether patients have dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease.

While the health system now shares a mobile PET scanner with other hospitals, using it one day a week, the new scanner will allow it to provide in-patient and out-patient services every day, Eanes says.

Other fundraising by the endowment, which is working with Charleston, S.C., consulting firm Corporate DevelopMint on its long-term fundraising strategy, includED a golf tournament April 30 and May 1 at Oak Hollow Golf Course and Blair Park Golf Course, and a 5K run on Sept. 17 at the hospital.

The endowment also raised $5 million to help pay for the system’s new $14 million cancer center that opened in June 2003.

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