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Give Back, Get Back

Help your hospital foundation and you'll likely share the benefits

You've heard it. You've said it. You know it's true. It really is better to give than receive. But be honest, receiving is pretty good, too. So why not do both? If you feel a charitable urge but have not committed to a cause, consider supporting the NCH Foundation. These endowments help our hospital provide the best patient care possible by raising the money needed for special projects such as high-tech medical equipment, research, renovations and community health initiatives.

"Healthcare is an integral part of our lives from cradle to grave," says James Yunker, EdD, chair of the editorial review board for Giving USA, a publication of the Giving USA Foundation that tracks national data and trends regarding charitable giving. "Some donors give to help find a cure, some to honor a special nurse or doctor, and others give simply because they are grateful for the care they or their family received." As an added bonus, helping our hospital foundation may also help you. Here's how:

1. Grow Your Circle

Those who give back by volunteering tend to make new friends and connections because of the common bond they share with others who support their cause. "People often become part of a social network that forms around the charity with which they're involved," says Mary Anne Chern, chair-elect of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy. Don't think that your chances for social interaction are limited if your contributions are strictly financial. "Unless donors wish to remain anonymous, they are invited to become involved in social activities such as benefits, committees and event-driven fundraisers. They are given many opportunities to meet others with similar interests," Yunker says.

2. Spiff Up Your Skills

Perhaps you volunteer at our hospital foundation because you have expertise in an area of need such as event planning or fundraising. But just because you bring something to the table doesn't mean there won't be something that you can also take away. As you deepen your involvement, you will uncover limitless possibilities for learning. Assisting with various service projects may give you hands-on experience in areas that are new to you, such as disaster relief, construction or retail sales. Knowledge gained through volunteering can be just as meaningful and valuable as the skills we acquire at our 9-to-5 jobs. In fact, "people may learn skills they can apply in the workplace," Chern says.

3. Get That Fuzzy Feeling

There is a reason for that warm, fuzzy feeling you experience when you know you have helped another. "People feel good about giving back, helping others and making a difference," Yunker says. "Every donor can benefit from the satisfaction of knowing that they are helping to make the world a better place." There is no price tag that you can place on the sense of personal fulfillment that comes with supporting a worthy cause like a hospital foundation. Whether your contributions go toward funding cutting-edge research or ensuring that every newborn is wrapped in a warm blanket, all donations make a difference.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009