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Healthcare Giving Still Strong, but Slowing

(Oct. 29, 2007) Although giving to healthcare facilities and organizations increased in 2006, the rate of growth was substantially lower than in 2005, according to a report by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) in Falls Church, Va.

The AHP 2006 Report on Giving found that U.S. healthcare contributions grew by 11.5 percent to $7.9 billion in 2006, compared to 16 percent growth in 2006.

Individual contributions represented 60 percent of all healthcare giving, while businesses, including corporate foundations, gave about 20 percent of gifts.  Noncorporate foundations accounted for 12 percent of healthcare funds, while a variety of sources, including hospital auxiliaries, public agencies and civic groups, were responsible for the remaining 8 percent. These figures are mostly unchanged from the 2005 numbers.

“Philanthropic dollars are being eroded and the healthcare system is being stressed by a ‘perfect storm’ of problems for nonprofits,” said William C. McGinly, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AHP, in a press release about the study. McGinly pointed to new proposed health coverage for uninsured illegal immigrants and the burdensome privacy regulations in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as some of the key problems.

Nevertheless, Laura Rehrmann, FAHP, president and CEO of Group Health Community Foundation in Seattle  and chair of AHP, remained optimistic about the state of healthcare giving in the United States. “Even though the nation faces an uncertain economy, domestic terrorist threats and increased deficit funding on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans continue to dig deep into their wallets to fund essential healthcare services, state-of-the-art medical technology and access to the best medical personnel to deliver the most comprehensive care possible,” she said.

Canada Giving Slows, Too

In Canada, healthcare contributions also slowed, increasing just 3.3 percent to $1.23 billion in 2006, compared to 11 percent growth in 2005.

The make-up of giving in Canada was similar to that found in the United States, although there were significant changes compared to 2005. Fifty-two percent of healthcare giving came from individuals in 2006, compared to 61 percent in 2005. Noncorporate foundations contributed 9.7 percent of the total in 2006, compared to just 3.5 percent in 2006. The other two categories, businesses (including corporate foundations) and “other sources” were roughly the same, representing 25.6 percent and 13.0 percent of the total, respectively.

“Although not increasing as much as in past years, Canadian charitable healthcare contributions are still being donated at a level which will make a difference in people’s lives every day,” said Linda Saunders, CFRE, AHP Canada regional director, in the press release. “The report bears this out in the fact that over half of the funds raised in Canada were from individual givers.”

About the Study

Nearly 300 organizations participated in the survey for the 2006 AHP Report on Giving, which is intended to show national trends in the United States and Canada and relate these trends, where applicable, to the changing healthcare environment.

The complete report is available by contacting Kathy Renzetti at (703) 532-6243 or via email at Kathy@ahp.org.

The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), established in 1967, is a nonprofit organization whose 4,600+ members manage philanthropic programs in 2,200 of North America’s nonprofit healthcare providers.

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