Now we are once again entering a new phase and bringing everything together in a philanthropy membership to the Kaiser Institute.
Philanthropy creates new paths to different futures. And perhaps there has been no more important time to veer from probabilities and create preferable futures than now.
There is no true scarcity--only disconnection of resources. We live in a sea of possible partners and allies. Yet we often engage and capture the imagination of only a tiny portion. Many of those who could bring resources, intelligence, and energy are right around us. But we must learn to engage these allies in new ways. In some health systems, philanthropy exceeds the amount of money left from operations. Novel partnerships with payers and consumer product companies provide both resources and expertise. And donors work with clinical and executive leaders to develop centers for innovation and new care models. The potential for abundance exists even in apparent scarcity.
Every patient room, treatment area, hallway, and lobby is an opportunity for theater. Patients and families who enter these spaces create stories in their mind. They form narratives about how everything came to exist—the impressive buildings, technologies, and services.
How many people walking out the doors of your hospital today have an emotional connection to your foundation?
In their narrowest role, foundations fundraise. In their broadest strategic role, foundations do far more-and in the process attract greater resources. Asking for gifts is not enough. It may actually be the smallest aspect of high-performance development. The greater challenge is to embed generosity into every patient experience, bring generosity to life throughout the culture, design experiences of giving that are transforming for donors, and intersect philanthropy and innovation at the highest level in the organization. When these things happen, the ability to attract resources increases profoundly. This broader strategic role requires a new understanding of development. And it requires the engagement of leaders across the entire hospital. To assist in this process this internal communications tool defines four essential and interconnected roles for the high-performance foundation of the future.
Although our circumstance affects our capacity for generous experience, we can develop a greater capacity for generous experience across a larger range of circumstance.
Visit the Generosity Toolbox and Innovation Circle.
Leanne Kaiser Carlson
There is no true scarcity—only disconnection of resources. We live in a sea of possible partners and allies. Yet we often engage and capture the imagination of only a tiny portion.
Many of those who could bring resources, intelligence, and energy are right around us. But we must learn to engage these allies in new ways.
In some health systems, philanthropy exceeds the amount of money left from operations. Novel partnerships with payers and consumer product companies provide both resources and expertise. And donors work with clinical and executive leaders to develop centers for innovation and new care models.
The potential for abundance exists even in apparent scarcity.
Philanthropy is now larger than the bottom line from operations in many organizations. But the full potential is more than economic power. It is possible to build an organization where generosity informs strategy, shapes relationship, and infuses every space and building. Understood in its full dimensionality, it can even become one of the therapeutic arts and a path of healing. At this level generosity becomes an organizing energy-not something that can be distilled into a fundraising goal. See High Performance Foundations for a look at what is possible.
Imagine attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in just three years in a rural area through a novel strategy. It happened-and has since been replicated many times. Think about what it would be like to engage an entire community across all organizational boundaries to increase the level of generosity. One community is beginning this attempt as described in On the Edge. Feel what it is like to engage donors in ways that are genuinely extraordinary through experience design-not just to ask and thank in the usual manner. Or venture onto the leading edge where generosity becomes part of clinical pathways and a path of accelerated personal growth.
In its highest expression, a foundation becomes the venture arm of a health system. It attracts resources from entrepreneurially-minded philanthropic investors, engages donors as partners, connects to the innovation architecture inside the organization, and involves clinicians and philanthropists together in exploring and creating possibilities. And it tracks and communicates the impact of each philanthropic investment in new and compelling ways.
Abundance is not an amount. Some organizations raise a million dollars every day and still do not have enough-or live in a mental space of scarcity, competition, and greed. Other organizations and people magically attract resource and allies, always seeming to have enough. Psychic poverty is a word used to reflect the way we often feel insufficient even in the presence of great material prosperity. Our internal experience of abundance is intrinsic to our capacity to live in the flow of generosity.
It is time to re-imagine what is possible and design innovate approaches. You may engage us around these ideas in many ways. Begin with a presentation, design a strategy day for foundation staff, form a consultative or retainer relationship, or participate in the Kaiser Institute's Philanthrop Membership which serves as a think-tank for innovation in development.