Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fund Raising Has Become a Useful, Artistic Profession

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Fund Raising Has Become a Useful, Artistic Profession

Article excerpt

Fund raising has become an art - and a profession for some among us. And how useful it is.

Harry Wilson, director of development at St. Anthony Hospital Foundation, has every reason to be cheerful about the fund raising skills in his shop and among his talented solicitors.

Last week the foundation reported a successful conclusion to its 1986 Saints Appeal. There was a $100,000 goal to be met. The final figures: $106,000 from 104 donors.

More than potluck is involved in a successful fund drive. In the distant and less complex society of our past, it may have been pretty much catch-as-catch-can. Now, we're learning, a schooled approach yields far better dividends. In every case, however, it helps immeasurably to have a good product.

Before anyone was asked to sit down and sign a check in the Saints Appeal, Wilson and his associates knew something about the nature of Oklahoma City's contributors. They knew, moreover, how Oklahoma Cityans and others felt about St. Anthony.

"An image response survey showed a highly positive image for this hospital," Wilson said. "Among other questions, they were asked for their reaction when they hear St. Anthony mentioned."

Generally, he says, St. Anthony maintains a stable and reliable image in the minds of most local residents. According to many respondents, the hospital also is regarded as a leader in technology. As for nursing care, he adds, "we never hear a derogatory comment."

"All of these elements go into the image of a hospital," said Wilson. "With a positive image, it's easier to attract support and convince people to part with money. But you also have to explain theneed to potential contributors."

The preliminary research not only identifies potential donors but in many cases can even determine the likely dollar amounts. Some may overstate what they intend to give, but the survey informationobviously makes fund raising easier.

"Not all people are givers or supporters of a cause," said Wilson. …

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