Recent years have been ... eventful ... for the healthcare industry. Economic pressures have led smaller community hospitals to close or merge with larger systems. Regulatory changes have forced hospitals to adopt new processes. How have these changes affected hospital foundations? A new report by the Wilmington Trust examines this question for New York State hospitals.
Trends in Healthcare Philanthropy and the Use of Separate Foundations: New York State Revisited analyzes 160 hospitals in the Empire State. The report follows up on a 2012 report by the Wilmington Trust. Among its findings:
- More than 81 percent of New York hospitals use a hospital foundation. Some 62 percent use a local foundation, and another 19 percent use a parent foundation.
- Eight out of 10 hospital foundations were established in 1981 or later.
- Philanthropic dollars make up only a small portion—3.7 percent—of hospital revenue.
- Hospital foundations play a more important role than the revenue figures indicate. Philanthropic dollars allow hospitals to innovate patient services and fund capital projects in an era of shrinking program revenues and potential regulatory changes.
- Hospital foundation boards vary in size, averaging 19 foundation trustees. An average 25 percent have trustees that overlap with the parent hospital board.
The report also reviews trends in healthcare and hospital philanthropy, examines how hospitals use foundations, analyzes fundraising strategies hospital foundations employ, and offers suggestions for hospital foundation investments.
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar’s editorial director.