Building a culture of philanthropy –
one person at a time By Suzette Strong
n exceptional patient experience is where it all begins. A patient receives great care and they often want to find a way to give back to the hospital. When a patient has an incredible experience and asks their caregiver how to say thanks, that caregiver should know how to properly direct that patient to the foundation and discuss the critical impact that donations have on the hospital. This is just one way that a hospital can exude a strong culture of philanthropy.
That is of course the ideal scenario. But in a hospital where staff work in a 24/7 environment with numerous demands, philanthropy and the role that staff and physicians play in it – isn’t always top of mind. Creating a culture of philanthropy is essential to fulfilling the fundraising requirements necessary to support all the hospital’s vital equipment needs. Employees, volunteers, and members of the public need to understand that the government doesn’t fund all these priority needs. This is a common miscon-
ception that can often deter potential donors from understanding the needs and importance of giving. Building a thriving culture of philanthropy is all about developing a relationship between the hospital and foundation that is rooted in trust and mutual respect. A synergistic relationship between the two organizations must be valued and understood—ultimately fundraising should be viewed as a core shared responsibility. The hospital needs to understand the importance of actively participating in the delivery
of the foundation’s mission of raising funds and awareness for the hospital. This culture shift is essential in raising the funds needed to support a hospital. At Markham Stouffville Hospital we have instilled a strong culture of philanthropy within our walls and are continuously finding ways to grow that culture. From the moment a staff member begins working at MSH they are introduced to the foundation. In November 2015, senior staff members from the foundation began presenting at each new hospital staff orienta-
Suzette Strong is the CEO of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation. 10 HOSPITAL NEWS APRIL 2017