Physicians, Scientists Join in Fund-raising Effort
BWH has embarked on an ambitious capital campaign to raise a minimum of $500 million from private donors over six years, and hospital leaders and the Development Office are turning to physicians and scientists to help. The Physician Scientist Fundraising Program (PSFP), which is led by a committee chaired by BWH cardiac surgeon Lawrence Cohn, MD, was launched in the fall to support and engage the physician and scientist community in BWH’s fund-raising efforts.
“The commitment and dedication of our physicians and scientists to BWH’s mission of excellence in patient care, education and discovery is contagious, and it resonates in the philanthropic community,” said Mark Kostegan, BWH’s chief development officer.
“Many of our most significant gifts come from grateful patients inspired by the work of our clinicians and researchers,” he added. In 2006, BWH received 33 gifts of $250,000 or more, and 29 of them were a direct result of the grateful patient-doctor relationship or personal gifts from BWH physicians.
The capital campaign draws its inspiration from and builds support for the hospital’s five clinical Centers of Excellence: Cardiovascular, Neurosciences, Orthopedics and Arthritis, Women’s Health and Cancer Care. Specialty areas that often attract and influence donors include Allergy/Immunology, Community Health, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, global medicine, Nursing, integrated care, patient safety and transplantation. In addition, the BWH Biomedical Research Institute encompasses all the laboratory research aligned with the clinical Centers of Excellence.
Connecting potential benefactors to a center of excellence or specialty area is one goal of PSFP. It will accomplish this by arming BWH physicians with tools and guidance on how to identify and encourage philanthropy to the hospital. The PSFP also aims to increase the number of gifts to the hospital from its own physicians. This effort is meeting with success, too, as BWH’s Hippocrates Society, which is comprised of the highest-level physician donors, has seen its membership increase by more than 20 percent in the last year.
“If we can demonstrate a strong financial commitment to BWH from our own physicians, that would send a powerful message to potential donors,” said Cohn, the physician chair of the effort.
Physician and scientist participation in the PSFP is off to a great start in its first nine months. As of June, more than 100 doctors and researchers have
attended one or more of the three PSFP sessions to learn about BWH’s uniform and consistent communication about the current capital campaign and how to engage donor involvement.
“We want our physician and scientist community to feel comfortable identifying and engaging with philanthropic potential,” Kostegan said.
The program provides details on operating within HIPAA guidelines and shares best practices of physician colleagues who have been successful in securing major gifts. In addition, Development staff and physicians experienced in securing gifts are available to help approach potential donors and encourage them to learn more about projects that may interest them. The PSFP will help train physicians on how to explain the potential of a particular clinical or research effort in lay terms, how to appeal to a donor’s sense of philanthropy, and how to be comfortable in asking for support.
To learn more about PSFP, contact Colleen Crowley in Development at 617-424-4351 or firstname.lastname@example.org