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Health of nonprofit hospitals improves

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Nonprofit hospitals

Nonprofit hospitals

While still anemic in almost all fundraising avenues, development at nonprofit hospitals is beginning to see some signs of recovery, a new study says.

Seventy-one percent of nonprofit hospitals reported the recession took a toll on their organizations in 2010, down from 85 percent in 2009, says the report from the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.

In response, almost four in 10 hospitals cut their operation budgets last year, while more than three in 10 cut their fundraising forecasts.

Fundraising improved slightly last year, but 37 percent of respondents say their direct-mail revenue was down in 2010, a slightly better showing than 2009, when 50 percent reported a drop.

Major giving was off for 44 percent last year, an improvement from the 59 percent of hospitals that reported a drop in 2009.

The slight improvement in the economy brought with it greater investment income for four in 10 hospitals, far outpacing the 11 percent reporting improved investments in 2009.

Unrestricted gift revenue was still hard to come by last, with 36 percent of respondents reporting reductions, but was up from the 45 percent reporting a drop in 2009.

In response to the continued difficulties, 65 percent of nonprofit hospitals increased their donor-relations activities last year, 51 increased involvement with major-gifts programs and 44 percent placed more emphasis on their annual-fund campaigns.

“Perhaps the most promising news is that far fewer fundraisers are reporting significant reductions in their operating budgets,” William C. McGinly, president and CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, says in a statement.

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