How Hospitals Can Solve Community Challenges Through Partnerships
The understatement of the year: 2020 changed everything! It changed the way we fundraise, the way we connect others to our mission, the way we serve our communities, and even what we need out of collaboration. Corporate giving accounted for nearly 2/3 of COVID-19 philanthropic funding at nearly $7.9 billion! (Source: Philanthropy And COVID-19 In The First Half Of 2020). Their commitment to the health of the world and tangible change in communities across the nation is only growing.
With respect to the hospital sector, we expect to see more shifts from traditional institutional giving and corporate philanthropy, to more purpose-driven partnerships that leverage expertise. When we join sectors, join resources, and create collaborative goals – big things can happen to change the course of our world for the better.
Take these examples of how corporations partnered with hospitals of all kinds to solve the biggest challenges in local communities in 2020.
The GIANT Company and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
New Healthy Weight Food Pharmacy
Backed by funding from the grocery retailer, The GIANT Company, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is working to provide nutritious food options and social wellness resources for food-insecure families in the Philadelphia area.
- As of January 2021, the Food Pharmacy has enrolled 325 patients and distributed 9,000lbs of food
- Started in 2019, the Pharmacy expanded into its second location in 2021
- COVID-19 pandemic has intensified demand
Facebook and Boston Children’s Hospital
COVID-19 Tech For Good
Facebook partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to offer a tool on Facebook that identifies nearby places to get vaccinated. The locations are provided by VaccineFinder, tech owned by developers at Boston Children’s, and includes information about how and where to book a vaccine appointment.
Other Facebook Initiatives:
- Connected 2 billion people to authoritative COVID-19 info
- Added stickers to FB & Instagram to encourage vaccinations
- Continue to work with WHO to expand the list of false claims
- COVID-19 vaccine-related post tracking through CrowdTangle
Tampa Bay Super Bowl LV and Tampa General Hospital
Super Bowl Host Committee Investing in Local Community
Tampa General Hospital (TGH) partnered with the Super Bowl Host Committee in Tampa Bay to be the exclusive medical provider at the game and all pre-game fan experience events.
- TGH was the strategic medical partner at the game & sponsor of first aid stations
- TGH now serving on the Super Bowl LV legacy project advisory committee
With so much activity, so much hope, where should you set your focus to grow your hospital’s corporate partnerships?
I. Familiarize yourself and your team with purpose threads.
Five trends struck us as standout themes in 2020 and ones we expect will continue…
- Mixed Reality
As defined by Microsoft, Mixed Reality is a blend of physical and digital worlds, unlocking the links between human, computer, and environment interaction.
In 2020, we witnessed a necessity to leverage technology and build new digital experiences to support mission-focused fundraising and business as usual. As in-person connections are still limited, nonprofits have adopted a hybrid fundraising reality – one that marries the physical and virtual world – as a mainstay moving forward.
Partnership Example: Hellmann’s Canada + Second Harvest, Canada
- Sustainable Gains
From the plant-based revolution, to continued waste reduction, from greener sourcing to carbon transparency, companies cross-industry are making (and reporting) their sustainable strides while building significant customer trust along the way. 2020 bore fruit to new and innovative ways for brands to communicate their tangible traction, not just lofty commitments.
Partnership Example: Just Salad’s Carbon Labeling
Social issues are still a source of fulfillment for many individuals. Giving back, making a difference, and inciting change makes us feel human again. Many nonprofit organizations leveraged technology in 2020 to connect people with their mission and satisfy this basic human need.
Partnership Example: Poly and Global Nomads Group
- Systemic Justice
2020 was a turning point for exposing systemic racial bias within our culture and Corporate America. It also demanded that companies take concerted actions toward building a diverse and inclusive workforce. 85% of Americans expect companies to help address racial inequality (up from 81% in 2018). While consumer call for change was evident, the impact of systemic justice on a company’s bottom line could be the underlying reason behind a swell of adoption in 2020.
Partnership Example: Apple launches $100M Racial Equity and Justice Initiative
- Inclusive Norms
2020 underscored the need for a greater understanding, empathy and acceptance of everyone – regardless of their ethnicity, disability, race, gender or orientation. As we enter 2021, there is an even greater call for unity and healing within the U.S. and globally. Companies are now creating products and partnerships that invite and welcome all types of customers. It’s no longer the exception, but the norm.
Partnership Example: LEGO and the American Printing House
For more information about trends to look out for in 2021, take a look at our 2021 Trend Report.
II. Understand your value to the corporate sector.
A new world requires new ways of communicating and connecting. Hospitals are reassessing their opportunities to engage and add value to their corporate supporters. Moving beyond a singular event sponsorship, consider building a comprehensive asset matrix that clearly defines recognition opportunities, employee and mission engagement moments, and marketing activations across the entire organization. In analyzing your value to a company, you can also identify a minimum donation commitment that corporate partners are held to – which also helps your hospital manage its much-needed human resources.
III. Dig into ripe industries.
So many industries are still struggling coming out of 2020, but perhaps even more are thriving. Dive into the new frontier and consider building partnerships with brands you have never approached before. The Top 10 industries we think are ripe for partnerships are:
- Cyber Security
- Digital Marketing
- Grocery + Food Delivery
- Video Conferencing
- Video Streaming
IV. Level-up your strategies.
The intersection of profit and purpose is only growing and becoming more crowded. If your hospital has already built an impressive corporate portfolio, now is the time to focus, customize, target and operationalize partnership development and stewardship. More specifically, consider these top trending partnership strategies…
- Leveraging Basic Business Principles.
With fewer resources and big goals, partnership professionals must accomplish more with less. This requires a more targeted approach to development, leveraging basic business principles to support growth.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we must evolve and step into a new way of living. Hospitals and companies are collaborating to create innovative social solutions that make a tangible impact.
- Net Revenue.
With 85% of a nonprofit’s corporate income comprised of recurring revenue, stewardship has always been a priority. Sophisticated nonprofits are now focusing on generating more support from their current partners.
I personally believe in the power of partnerships – I always have! It’s exciting to see the growth in commitment and sophistication with which Corporate America approaches its purpose-driven strategies. I’m proud to support so many charitable organizations and hospitals that are on the frontlines of social change every day. They are innovative, resourceful and resilient! Blending these two sectors for the purpose of solving our most pressing challenges can be magical. Let’s create some magic in 2021! Only together can we achieve it…