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I recently asked the leaders of Community Regional to attend a seminar on philanthropy. I’m not sure they knew what to expect, but what’s clear is that in our ever-changing health care industry, where small operating margins are the norm, and greater demands are made on our resources with declining reimbursement for our services, private gifts are essential. Investing in our facilities, new technology and medical research to continue our mission will only be possible with the help of generous donor-investors. And it starts with us.
After listening to top leaders in health care and philanthropy, I believe there are three ways we, as Community employees, can help foster a culture of giving:
Promote our cause. Community Regional is a “must-have” hospital. We are essential to this region. Not only do we provide necessary services not available anywhere else in central California, we do a stellar job of it. Seize the opportunity to talk about it. No other not-for-profit in the area saves lives or changes lives like we do.
Identify our grateful patients. I routinely hear from our patients about the fabulous care they received, about special nurses that made all the difference, and how they couldn’t imagine being treated anywhere else. I always pass the accolades on to our clinical staff to help recognize them for their good work. But it’s also important to share grateful patient letters and e-mails with our fundraising staff. Patients who take the time to express their gratitude will appreciate knowing about opportunities—large and small—to help us continue our good work.
Be a donor-investor. Employees give so much of themselves every day to our patients and to our mission. You inspire others to give to our organization every day. Why not consider Community for your charitable giving? Whether it’s a one-time gift, an annual pledge through a payroll deduction, or an hour or two of PTO time, your gift is appreciated—and tax deductible.
There is no better way to illustrate how worthy an organization is, than when its employees are investing in its mission. Employees are better promoters for our hospital than any ad in the newspaper, and more convincing of our worthiness for donations than any mailed solicitation could communicate.
A great example of that came to me in the form of a letter just the other day. It reminded me again why I love what I do. It was from Tracy Noble, a nurse supervisor at Community Regional who wound up in our emergency department as a patient. Her experience, while frightening, was also enlightening. We sometimes take for granted the incredible things we do—all in a day’s work.
Tracy mentioned by name so many of her coworkers that took great care of both her physical and emotional needs. She then closed her letter with a statement that I hope y’all can relate to, “I am very thankful and proud to say that I work at Community Regional Medical Center. The people that work here make a difference every day.” Well, Tracy, I certainly can’t say it better that!
Community Medical Centers’ 2009-2010 Community Benefits Report (http://communitymedical.org/sites/default/files/library/files/fact_sheets/community_benefits_report_2010.pdf)
Community’s 2010 Year in Review
Community Medical Foundation
Phone: 459-2670 or x52670