Fundraising for children's hospitals, much like most of their day-to-day operations, has changed dramatically over the years. "Today's donors are much more sophisticated—particularly younger donors," says Larry Levine, president and CEO of Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York. "They just don't write out a check to a not-for-profit like a hospital with no questions asked."
Levine says today's donors are interested in two primary factors before they're willing to make a contribution:
- Effective management. It's important to demonstrate your organization is run properly. "No one wants to give money to an institution that is bleeding red ink," Levine says. "It's management's job to figure out how to make ends meet—not the donor."
- Impact. "Donors want to know how their gift will be impactful," Levine says. "If I'm giving you money for a program you're proposing, why is it a good program for me to support? In other words, how will it affect children?"
Levine says he and his team at Blythedale manage two dashboards to keep a close eye on both of these categories. "Ultimately, we want to demonstrate to donors they're giving support to Blythedale that produces high-quality programs and the money is not going to subsidize an inefficient operation," Levine says. "In effect, their contribution is going to create a new program that's needed in the community."
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