In late February, the NorthShore University HealthSystem Foundation team was just starting to think about the hospital system’s needs around COVID-19 and what they might want to share with their donors. But they weren’t yet sure what their message was going to be or who it would come from.
Then, the chairman of NorthShore’s Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine reached out to the foundation team led by Elizabeth Middleton, Assistant Vice President of Donor Development, to announce that they had already developed their own in-house COVID-19 test and wanted to start testing patients immediately pending some FDA hurdles.
The pathology chair said she knew there was going to be a huge need and wondered whether any NorthShore donors might be interested in supporting the equipment, staffing and related needs in funding the effort. The team said yes.
“So that is the first time we began thinking about the role of philanthropy in this crisis,” Elizabeth shares in this GG+A webinar. “What could donor dollars do to help NorthShore?”
To find out how her team responded and the inspiring outcomes of that response, watch our webinar conversation between Elizabeth and Jeff Nearhoof, Senior Vice President in the Academic Medicine and Healthcare Practice at GG+A. To see Elizabeth’s responses to webinar participants’ questions, scroll down.
Fundraising for NorthShore University HealthSystem’s COVID-19 Response
Q-and-A with Elizabeth Middleton
Elizabeth Middleton answers webinar particpants’ questions.
Q. Who did you send the social media appeal to?
The appeal was posted across all NorthShore social channels (FB, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn). Our Foundation does not have separate social accounts.
Q. Is there a signatory on the first email appeal sent out and, if so, who was it?
All of our email appeals thus far have come from the Executive Director of our Foundation.
Q. If you had not had that first test, how might that have affected your fundraising?
Our original focus of fundraising was on the testing and the needs of our pathology team. Very quickly, though, we learned that the needs were much greater and broader than just the lab. Our response fund became focused on all aspects of the response—PPE, facilities, staffing, testing, everything. I don’t believe our fundraising was impacted by the messages about the philanthropic needs associated with testing, though it certainly gave us a jumping off point. We were able to harness the desire of the community to help our frontline caregivers and our patients in myriad ways.