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Classifying and Comparing Fundraising Performance for Nonprofit Hospitals

Author: CATHLEEN O. ERWIN
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 36 No. 1

Charitable contributions are becoming increasingly important to nonprofit hospitals, yet fundraising can sometimes be one of the more troublesome aspects of management for nonprofit organizations. This study utilizes an organizational effectiveness and performance framework to identify groups of nonprofit organizations as a method of classifying organizations for performance evaluation and benchmarking that may be more informative than commonly used characteristics such as organizational age and size. Cluster analysis, ANOVA and chi-square analysis are used to study 401 organizations, which includes hospital foundations as well as nonprofit hospitals directly engaged in fundraising. Three distinct clusters of organizations are identified based on performance measures of productivity, efficiency, and complexity. A general profile is developed for each cluster based upon the cluster analysis variables and subsequent analysis of variance on measures of structure, maturity, and legitimacy as well as selected institutional characteristics.
This is one of only a few studies to examine fundraising performance in hospitals and hospital foundations, and is the first to utilize data from an industry survey conducted by the leading general professional association for healthcare philanthropy. It has methodological implications for the study of fundraising as well as practical implications for the strategic management of fundraising for nonprofit hospital and hospital foundations.

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