Past patients an untapped fundraising source: survey

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When it comes time for fundraising, many healthcare providers fail to approach patients they have already successfully served, according to a new survey from the Grizzard Communications Group and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy.

The "AHP 2007 Grateful Patient Communications Survey" was conducted online in May and targeted health development professionals with the goal of learning how they viewed the Grateful Patient program within their facilities. The Grateful Patient program collects financial gifts from donors who express their gratitude for services rendered.

According to the survey, less than half of the institutions contact past patients within three months of their release, and they typically fail to follow up with any frequency beyond that point. In the event that a patient has been contacted, most institutions lack a system to measure the effectiveness of their outreach efforts.

Other findings include the fact that about 40 percent of development professionals in health institutions do not consider outreach to past patients to be an important component of their work. In addition, more than 75 percent of health development professionals agreed that doctors fail to do a good job of engaging in development efforts.

The survey results are available at www.grizzard.com/healthcare.

Atlanta-based Grizzard Communications Group is a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

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