Archive for August, 2009

How will health care reform affect health care fundraising?

Posted on August 31st, 2009 | No Comments »

By Barbara Coury, Community Health Network Foundation vice president of development

In August, I attended the latest town hall meeting on health care reform hosted by my employer, Community Health Network (watch a replay of the town hall meeting at  While I walked away with more questions than answers, I realized I was probably not alone in this respect, as many of the details of the plan are not yet settled. However, this opportunity offered me a chance to reflect on how philanthropy within health care may be affected by reform and what to do about it.

Hospitals need to dust off their “case for support,” and make sure it demonstrates the impact a donor’s gift will have on meeting important needs.  Health care fundraising is facing a potential double whammy with not only impending reform but also a proposed reduction in charitable deductions for wealthy Americans.  While experts disagree about the magnitude the proposed legislation will have on giving, almost all agree there will be some decline in giving among the nation’s wealthiest individuals.  It is more important than ever to have a strong case for support.  Donors do not give to need, but to organizations that meet needs, so it will be important to demonstrate impact.

Planned giving options will continue to be critical to hospital fundraising.   Leading philanthropic scholars have estimated that there will be a $41 trillion transfer of wealth between generations over the next forty years.  Planned giving offers donors the chance to minimize their tax burden, take care of their heirs, and maximize their philanthropic intentions.  Major gift donors will have considerable motivation to make a gift that is the most cost effective and beneficial for all the people and causes they care about.  Planned giving offers options (ex., a lead trust) that are very advantageous in a weak economy while securing additional tax benefits not available in outright giving.  This is an area that needs focused attention from a nonprofit organization.

Impending health care reform highlights the need for a well-diversified fundraising stream of income.  While it is always a good idea to attend to the income mix, fundraisers should use this opportunity to scrutinize where they are spending their time and the return they receive on this investment.  For example, if 60% of dollars raised result in major gift visits, roughly 60% of a fundraiser’s time should be devoted to this effort.  Historically, fundraising offers fairly low returns on corporate fundraising, yet many nonprofit organizations devote considerable time to this effort.  The utility of special event fundraising is often poorly understood by nonprofit boards who tend to encourage large amounts of staff time devoted to this type of effort that is a poor producer of results.  This doesn’t even take into account the cost of missed opportunity and volunteer burn-out.

Grateful patient programs need to be as strong as possible.  Many hospital systems with entrenched (yet thriving) grateful patient programs have put little thought into the structure, look and feel of their programs.  Competition for charitable health care dollars will continue to increase, so the programs that are eye catching and inviting may have an advantage.

A message from some thankful employees

Posted on August 26th, 2009 | No Comments »

Recently, we funded an employee-led program that distributed school supplies to the children of Community Health Network employees who are in situations of economic hardship. The program was a success and we are grateful to support caring teams of workers who are passionate about giving to their colleagues.

Here is the very kind thank you letter we received today from the Spirit of South Community Hospital South Employee Council:

Dear Anita, Barb, Marcy and all of the Foundation staff:

We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support during our recent school supply give away at Community Hospital South last week. The endeavor was a very successful first-time event, one we hope to be able to repeat annually.

Employees were surprised and tremendously appreciative of the opportunity to receive a bag of school supplies. It was even more humbling to watch employees support their unit as they would give their quota of supplies to help their colleagues, or to hear the stories of how they were giving their supplies to grandchildren or nieces and nephews. Even our own employees who were going back to school were surprised they could get them for themselves.

It was an amazing day and we want to thank you for making it happen in such an efficient and timely manner. We look forward to growing this program and look forward to working with you again in the future.


Katy Stallings and Kate Edwards,

Co-Presidents of the Spirit of South

Photos from the Jane Pauley Community Health Center press conference

Posted on August 20th, 2009 | No Comments »

Bryan Mills, Community Health Network president and CEO-elect, made the announcement on August 19, 2009 in the lobby of Community Hospital East.

Bryan Mills, Community Health Network president and CEO-elect, made the announcement on August 19, 2009 in the lobby of Community Hospital East.

Yesterday, Community Health Network officials announced details of the Jane Pauley Community Health Center, which is under construction inside the Renaissance School located at 30th and Post roads on the eastside of Indianapolis. This project is a special collaboration between our network and Warren Township Schools and will offer the public a unique mix of primary care medical services.

Eastside Indianapolis native and former NBC news anchor (TODAY/Dateline) Jane Pauley has lent her name to our project because the center will also serve as a learning laboratory for best practices in the delivery of health care, with the goal of replicating this model in other community health centers around the country. She’ll be in town in September for the official ribbon cutting.  Read the full release>> 

Marion County Health Director Virgina Caine, MD, championed the project for its innovative delivery of health care.

Marion County Health Director Virgina Caine, MD, championed the project for its innovative delivery of health care.

Donations to support this project can be made at

Jan Bingle, fundraising hero, featured in Indianapolis Star nursing publication

Posted on August 13th, 2009 | No Comments »

Jan Bingle, M.S., R.N., is so much more than chief nursing officer for Community Health Network. To us, she’s our fundraising hero, raising more than $1 million to fund an endowment and form the Society for Nursing Excellence.

Recently, she was featured in the Indianapolis Star’s Indiana Nursing Quarterly for her fundraising passion to raise money to advance the nursing profession. Read the full article>>

You can get to know more about Jan by reading a Q&A that also appeared in this quarterly publication. Read the Q&A>>

But, this information just scratches the surface of Jan’s philanthropic passion. Watch this video celebrating Jan’s choice to live a charitable life>>

Watch Community Health Network’s health care town hall today

Posted on August 12th, 2009 | No Comments »

Community Health Network has invited local north side neighborhood groups to attend its third health care town hall on August 12th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  The event, to focus on health care reform, will be held in the main lobby of The Indiana Heart Hospital, 8075 N. Shadeland Avenue, on the Community Hospital North campus.   Due to limited space and seating, members of the general public who wish to participate can go online to watch the video streamed event and ask questions of the panelists at:

Community Health Network has hosted two previous town halls, both at Community Hospital East, in December of 2008 and March 2009.  The town halls were held as a way to inform the local community about federally proposed changes in the health care system and to encourage feedback on the delivery of health care within the organization.

Here’s who will be speaking:

Welcome and Introductions
Pete Turner, vice president of business development, Community Heart and Vascular

Challenges We Face in Health Care
Bryan Mills, CEO-elect, Community Health Network

Local Health Statistics, Access to Health Care, the Uninsured and Underinsured
Virginia Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Health Department

Clinical Integration (eliminating hand-offs in patient care)
Timothy Hobbs, M.D., CEO, Community Physicians of Indiana

Community’s Cardiovascular Integration and Community Heart and Vascular
Ramarao Yeleti, M.D., president, Community Heart and Vascular

Pioneering Healthier Communities
Tom Crouch, redevelopment director, City of Lawrence