Fundraising includes the solicitation of donations from various sources, such as individual and corporate donors, special events, endowments, planned giving, and bank loans. If patient-care revenue will not be adequate for current and future operations, then fundraising is necessary.
Clinics that are newer, smaller, independent of larger agencies, or are planning new projects are more likely to require fundraising revenue. Major initiatives, such as construction of a new clinic or the purchase of a building, may require the development of a business plan to obtain funding. Some fundraising may yield non-cash donations that will help your bottom line.
Donations can be solicited for a variety of purposes. For example, sales representatives for dental equipment suppliers and product manufacturers can be contacted for contributions of new or used items or oral hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, or mouthguards. Local businesses may be able to donate furnishings, office supplies, or art. Professionals or retirees can donate their time to provide direct care services or ancillary support services.
A few tips for fundraising:
The fundraising plan, like a grant-seeking plan, is a component of your business plan. The fundraising plan should contain annual and long-term (3–5 year) components, including overall revenue goals, revenue goals by source, implementation plans, staffing, and a fundraising program budget. This is an example of an annual fundraising plan.
Safety net dental clinics that wish to develop an effective fundraising program may want to identify a local fundraising professional to provide assistance; many professional fundraisers are members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.