Healthcare Philanthropy Standards Sought

December 14, 2011       Samuel Fanburg      

Reporting standards focused on annual gift pledge payments, appropriations and bequests and mature planned gifts will be under the microscope soon from a newly formed council of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).

The AHP Action Council (ACC) is currently five members who are chief executive officers (CEOs) and chief financial executives (CFOs). They will use the responses from AHP’s Performance Benchmarking survey, the annual Report on Giving and real-life experience to redefine standards that will help measure the various revenue sources and expenses of the nonprofit health sector.

“We have about 120 hospital reporting to us through this survey,” said William McGinly, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AHP. “Realistic and reliable standards reflect the values and principles of our calling. As the leading association of development professionals working on behalf of nonprofit heath care institutions, AHP has a responsibility to implement performance measures that will enhance fundraising’s accountability and credibility.”

Definitions for standards were first adapted to AHP’s Performance Benchmarking Service in 2003 in an attempt to gather data comparisons. The information is used internally among AHP members and to establish a standardized reporting format. Other standards refer to the correct reporting of cash and board designations/quasi endowments.

Any hospital member is eligible to join and participate in the Performing Benchmarking Service. The value is all about comparing like data with other organizations and illustrating accurate financial reporting.

The program is still voluntary for AHP members, “but I would love have everyone participating in the survey,” said McGinly. “It would be great to see us get to that point.”

The council is currently comprised of: Chair: David L. Flood, president of Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations, Neptune N.J.; Mendal A. Bouknight, vice president of philanthropy, Piedmont Healthcare, Atlanta, Ga.; Arthur M. Brink Jr., FAHP, CFP, vice president of philanthropy/chief philanthropic officer, Martin Memorial Foundation, Stuart, Fla.; John J. Gantner, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Meridian Health, Neptune, N.J.; James F. Normandin, president of Memorial Medical Center Foundation, Long Beach, Calif.; Pearl F. Veenema, FAHP, president and chief executive officer of Hamilton Health Services Foundation, Hamilton, Ont; and, Sandra Wilson, vice president and chief financial officer.

Some members came from the same hospital because McGinly wanted perspectives from both CEOs and CFOs in one organization, he said. ACC members are required to be in senior level development professional or chief financial officers of an AHP member organization. “The council’s job will be to review how we’re doing in receiving information. The council will than evaluate that information and redefine our standards based on results,” said McGinly.

The effort to establish uniform sets of standards arises out of AHP’s Strategic Plan for the years 2011 through 2015. AHP was established in 1967 and an association with more than 4,700 members.