A growing number of academic institutions are relying on the generosity of others to implement otherwise too-expensive ideas or changes. Fundraising is an imperative aspect of many organizations, including the radiology field. Having a basic knowledge of fundraising is essential to your success.

President of Johns Hopkins University from 1996 to 2009 and radiologist William Brody, M.D., Ph.D., laid out some guidelines for successful fundraising in the April edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“Whether you are a newly-appointed assistant professor of radiology, a dean of the medical school, CEO of a health system, or a university president, knowing how to raise funds is critical to your success and the success of the department or organization you represent. Fundamentally, fundraising is selling. I am not talking about your grandfather’s used car salesman. Selling is a universal skill that can be learned,” Brody said.

Relationships: Fundraising is also called friend-raising for a reason. To develop long-term relationships, make meaningful connections with donors who will support your departments or institution for the long haul. It is perfectly acceptable to return to donors who have contributed in the past, as they are most likely to donate again.  

Trust the process: Whether you seek a research grant, new building, or an endowed professorship, there are four key steps to achieve success: attention, interest, desire, and finalizing. Ensure you are following the process to attract donors.

Invest wisely: Use your own money to contribute to staff who can help cultivate donors, conduct background research, investigate prospects, develop brochures and other media, demonstrate, advertise, etc.

Speak out: When donors are looking to donate to a cause, radiology isn’t always top of mind. The lack of face-to-face contact radiologists have with patients makes it essential to be proactive. Don’t be intimidated – fundraising isn’t necessarily effortless. It is critical for your career, so try to learn the best you can.

Embrace technology: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an integral part of radiology. Many tech donors are drawn to the AI sector, so be sure to entice prospects from a wide range of fields, including other areas of medicine, technology leaders, venture capitalists, and even patients with relevant interests.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

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