Moses Cone fundraising moves ahead

Bill Porter
Bill Porter

Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In its first special fundraising project since it launched a fund-development office nearly four years ago, a $5 million campaign to expand its regional cancer  center, Moses Cone Health System has raised roughly $4.7 million.

The new development office, which likely will undertake several more fundraising projects beginning in 2012, raised roughly $2 million from over 1,000 donors in the fiscal year  that ended Sept. 30.

And it will launch its inaugural annual-giving program this fall and initiate a leadership-giving program to recognize donors who give $1,000 or more.

“In part, what we’re trying to do is introduce the culture of philanthropy,” says Bill Porter, vice president in the office of fund development for the health system. “I think we are building a solid base.”

After joining Moses Cone late in 2006, Porter says, he devoted his first year to creating the fund-development office, including getting the necessary systems in place and getting organized.

“When you start from the very beginning, it was a very focused effort to develop leadership, to get to know people, to develop the story,” he says. “It has been a private, personal effort, personal visits and small events.”

The 10-year-old, 78,000-square-foot cancer center sees over 3,000 new patients a year and needs additional space for patient privacy and to house support programs, Porter says.

The expansion, which will add 30,000 square feet, will cost $15 million, with Moses Cone investing $10 million of its own funds.

Spearheaded by a steering committee co-chaired by Dennis Barry, Moses Cone’s retired president and CEO, and by Carole Bruce at law firm Smith Moore Leatherwood, the campaign has tapped into a broad base of support that includes its board of trustees and leaders of its staff and physicians, and businesses and foundations.

Physicians, for example, have donated $750,000 to the campaign.

And in 2008, Stanley Tanger, the founder and retired chairman of Tanger Outlets who died Oct. 23, and his wife, Doris, issued a $1 million challenge to Moses Cone.

If the health system raised $1.5 million by the end of 2009 in addition to the $1 million it already had raised, the Tangers would give $1 million.

Moses Cone met the challenge, and will name the part of the cancer center that houses patient and family support services for Doris Tanger.

And Mary Gorrell Jones, her husband Chuck Jones and her mother Sarah Gorrell made a combined gift of $1 million.

The new leadership-giving program, to be named the Cone Society, will kick off with a celebration next spring that will recognize any gifts of $1,000 or more made this year through annual giving or for capital or special projects.

The idea, Porter says, is to “provide a more comprehensive picture of the impact of philanthropy here.”

Other fundraising projects underway include Healing Hands, an effort to reach out to former patients and encourage them to make a gift in honor of a caregiver, and Great Beginnings, an effort to enlist parents and grandparents of newborns, as well as family friends.

The Healing Hands program has enlisted about 150 contributors giving an average of $50 to $60 each, while the Great Beginnings program has enlisted about 100 participants who are recognized with a plaque honoring the newborn on a wall in the obstetrics area at Women’s Hospital of Greensboro.

“In part, what we’re trying to do is to let folks know that they can give, and it’s important, and they can make a difference,” Porter says.

The fund-development office also is working to build charitable-giving into Moses Cone’s overall business strategy.

“We’re in the process right now of really connecting philanthropy into our strategic planning process,” Porter says, “and also trying to identify where philanthropy has the greatest impact on strengthening patient care.”

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