Setting Up A Hospital Foundation
8 May 2006 at 1:05 pm
Few fundraisers around the country have been given free reign to set up a multimillion dollar foundation from scratch in the hospital system in recent years – and starting with a clean slate has many advantages and some disadvantages.
Melbourne’s Saint Vincent’s Private and Mercy Private Hospitals are doing just that.
And they have enlisted experienced foundation fundraiser, Michelle Trevorrow to do the job.
Trevorrow has an extraordinary background in Foundation fundraising over a relatively short period of time- just 7 and a half years – giving her an impressive track record.
Firstly with Melbourne High as Development Manager, then at Zoos Victoria and more recently with the Peter Mac Cancer Centre (where donations doubled during her time there) and Very Special Kids. Trevorrow has also been on the Victorian Executive Committee of the FIA for 7 years.
So it is no surprise that she has taken on the task of setting up the St Vincent’s Private and Mercy Private Hospital Foundation.
As its Executive Director, Trevorrow has been given a twelve month slate to set up the Foundation with the aim of building a corpus of funds for education, research and equipment upgrades.
The unique partnership between the two private hospitals began in 1998, with 50% owned by the Sisters of Mercy and 50% owned by the Sisters of Charity. Both hospitals are highly regarded for their specialist treatment facilities. Mercy Private is the largest provider of private women’s maternity services in Victoria and Saint Vincent’s Private specialises in neurosciences, orthopaedics and cardiology.
As Not for Profits in the private hospital sector, surplus funds go to towards a number of services and welfare facilities such as providing meals to the poor, sending medical teams overseas to third world countries, or funding a part time position to assist in a program for homeless men.
Trevorrow says both hospitals have previously used the donations and bequests of grateful patients to fund any capital campaigns, but there was no formalisation of their fundraising efforts.
Starting from scratch has many benefits, according to Trevorrow. She says there are no issues to resolve or strategies to re-think and she has the benefit of using what is seen as ‘best practice’ in the very beginning.
However it is not all smooth sailing. Trevorrow says one drawback is where to find the donors – having to build a data base from scratch!
Her task will be a rather intense process of communicating with previous patients and supporters and following up with newsletters, direct mail and major gift campaigns.
She says her role in these very early stages is to work out the priorities.
In the meantime, Trevorrow is well on the way to assisting these two hospitals to grow their reputations and their supporters.