4 Traits Of Highly-Successful Orgs

An emphasis on major gifts activity, staff compensation, staff size and total fundraising expenses are four success factors of the highest performing nonprofit healthcare organizations.

William C. McGinly presented a session titled “Principles & Priorities of Highly Effective Nonprofits” during the 26th annual symposium at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, “Taking Fundraising Seriously Timeless Values in a World of Change.”

The president and CEO of Falls Church, Va.-based Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) offered up key metrics for high performers in healthcare:

  • Net returns: A measure of bottom line fundraising revenues for the hospital or system;
  • Cost to Raise a Dollar (CTRD): A measure of fundraising efficiency; and,
  • Return on Investment (ROI): A measure of fundraising effectiveness.

“High performers” represent the top 25 percent in terms of total production, according to the 2012 AHP Report on Giving USA. McGinly cited several key points about high performers, including:

  • Raising nearly six times the median production funds compared to all responding institutions, ($19.1 million v. $3.2 million);
  • More than 80 percent employed 7 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) direct fundraising staff;
  • Allocating more of their resources to research (17.5 percent) and fewer resources to capital equipment (7.3 percent) compared to the average institution (5.6 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively);
  • More than 81 percent had more than $2 million in total fundraising expenses in FY 2012;
  • Median total fundraising expenses for higher performers was about five times the median total for all institutions in the survey ($4.679 million versus $856,097);
  • Some 44 percent were affiliated with a health care entity that had over $1 billion in net patient service revenue; and,
  • Nearly one-third were academic institutions, and nearly one-fifth either a children’s hospital or community hospital.