Paying it forward this holiday season

Paying it forward this holiday season

By Dodge Communications (not verified) on December 19th, 2013

In the healthcare world of practices, providers and primary care, “paying it forward” is not always top of mind. During the holiday season, however, more and more healthcare organizations choose to give back to local communities. I’ll share a couple of examples of healthcare corporate philanthropy, several questions to get you started and resources for your reference.

Kimberly-Clark, a Dodge neighbor in Roswell, GA, recently announced a $50,000 donation in support of a UNICEF clean water, sanitation and hygiene project. One of Dodge’s clients, Aetna, was recognized earlier this month as one of America’s most community-minded companies in The Civic 50. The company also named Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless the $30,000 grand prize winner of the 2013 Aetna Voices of Health campaign in November 2013.

A September 2013 Nonprofit Quarterly story cited The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) as saying nonprofit hospitals and healthcare systems managed to raise $8.9 billion through philanthropy last year, which is approximately equal to what was brought in the previous year. As the author noted, “This is not news, except for the fact that there is a general rule of funding that suggests that private funding often declines when the government is paying a lot of attention to an issue. Not so with healthcare lately.”  

Even if healthcare fundraising is steady, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contribute too. If you want to get involved with a charitable organization, but don’t know how to get started, consider these thoughtful questions from a November 10, 2013 Wall Street Journal article:

1. What do you hope to accomplish?
2. Are the organization’s goals clear and measurable?
3. Who are the charity’s leaders?
4. What are similar groups doing?
5. What do the experts say?
6. Is the group financially stable?
7. What is your gut telling you?

There are two key resources that come to mind: One is Atlanta-specific; the other is healthcare-specific, the AHP already mentioned above. The AHP is an international professional organization dedicated exclusively to developing the men and women who encourage charity in North America's healthcare organizations. Established in 1967, AHP is the source for education, networking, information and research in health care philanthropy.

The other resource is the Corporate Volunteer Council (CVC) of Atlanta. The nonprofit’s mission is to support member companies in their strategic commitment to workplace volunteerism and civic engagement. A network of more than 60 local businesses, the organization offers content-focused quarterly meetings, webinars and networking opportunities. I encourage you to read the Atlanta Business Chronicle special section “The Art of Volunteering” that highlights organizations who value corporate responsibility and volunteerism.

This holiday season, the Dodge team is holding a toy and clothing drive for local nonprofit North Fulton Community Charities. What are you, as an individual and/or a company, doing to pay it forward – or give back – this holiday season? We’d love to hear your plans, ideas and thoughts about corporate philanthropy as 2013 comes to a close.