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  1. Section Editor(s): Simpson, Roy L. DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN
  2. Guest Editor

Article Content


This issue of Nursing Administration Quarterly focuses on a little talked about subject in our profession but much talked about in circles of executive leadership. This issue is about philanthropy. I am excited to gather successful viewpoints in philanthropy for references, reading and building new coffers of monies to advance nursing leadership, practice, and research. The mission is all about the profession and the patients we serve. This group of articles is timely for blending my knowledge of informatics with passion for philanthropy. This editorial sets the tone for how advancements in technology give us a sense of new vigor and vim to do more for our profession by establishing funds in perpetuity. 501-c-3s are recognized by the United States internal revenue service as tax-exempt organizations that have a mission for doing good for society as a whole. Clearly, a criterion before you give.

Roy L. Simpson, DNP,... - Click to enlarge in new windowRoy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN

As each nurse executive continues to strive for evidence and knowledge in how to create opportunities for your organization and staff, one of these becomes a new found knowledge of fund-raising on a different level. Today, crowd-funding, mobile giving, and micro-financing give us new platforms to think differently about how to find the money to support our staff with the independence of operational dollars. Our databases of nurses, friends of nurses, patients, and colleagues are filled with information to focus our sites on who, what, when, and how much for recruitment of donors to build these funds in perpetuity. The focus is to protect and secure the core of our professional practice for the good of society.


As we look around universities, colleges, and institutions of higher learning, we see executive skill set competencies in philanthropy rising on the agenda as key to success in these roles. It is a skill nurse executives must learn on the fly. It used to be that those of us in service were sought after to help raise funds as donors. Today, the tides change; we are raising the funds to advance our own organizational missions. This is another new competency for success in our roles. This set of articles demonstrates unique and exciting ways organizations found to secure their future with funds in perpetuity. Donors choose foundations that are mission driven.


In an August 2013 article in "http://Worth.com," Dr Thomas Peter gives insight into technology changing the face of philanthropy in a positive way. How you might ask? It makes it easier for more people to get involved to make a difference. That sounds just like nurses' cup of tea. We want to make a difference as individuals in patient lives and as leaders to drive the profession. Philanthropy is the way to make that happen, it gives funding to the mission.


As you put your plan together after reading these stellar authors' work, think about how to use technology to advance your cause in fund-raising. Just to make you aware, 1 in 3 adults in the United States uses his or her mobile devices to access the Internet. And I can see it now: a Web app for donations for nurse foundations from your own institution and passion. You will provide updates to donors to know where and how monies are used, along with insight to give more to their passion.


One of the reasons I wanted to be an issue editor of philanthropy with my colleague Randy Hudspeth was to accelerate changes in our culture. First, we need to develop a culture of giving. Not just caring for patients but also caring for the profession, the evidence in the research, and the wisdom to make a difference in the future after we are long gone align with philanthropy.


Most nurses I know at some point in their life had support of some kind to advance or initiate their education. Yet, there is a reluctance to donate monies. We all have self-identified personal priorities, which could be of family, faith, and life, but if we don't take care of the profession with philanthropy, we must ask who will?


Here is where I think the culture needs to change. The amount, seriously, is not the issue. It is that you give. Robert Wood Johnson's Institute of Medicine report encourages nurse board participation. You need to bring resources when you are on a board. It does not come without a commitment. I can tell you from my personal experience that even small amounts are of value. Why is this-because of math and percentages! When you give something as little as $10, you compound those dollars over years; just those $10 become hundreds when you keep giving $10 each year to the organization of your professional passion. This is what drives large donors to give when they see such passion from individual donors to carry out the mission of the foundation. It is as important to have participation as it is to give large amounts, because those large amounts don't come without participation from us all. So when asked to be on a board, get ready to "write the check."


So next time that tweet comes out, that mobile app says give to, or your nurse colleague asks for monies to support our profession-first evaluate the mission. Tell them if the mission fits your character or that you give to another that aligns with your mission, but don't just don't give. Give to protect, secure, and support our profession so it is around for another hundred years, caring for the public good we serve.


I hope as you read these articles, you will think about your organization. Who can help you make a similar foundation to support the work of nurses in your organization, maybe even have a shared governance committee that aligns with philanthropy? Personally, I don't think you can survive the future without embracing American capitalism through philanthropy. Our finances in health care are continually constrained; this is one way to assure your nurses about the future with nurses giving to their passions. Enjoy the read and give that $10 next time for those who gave to make it possible for you to be a nurse.


-Roy L. Simpson, DNP, RN, DPNAP, FAAN


Guest Editor


Vice President, Nursing


Cerner Corporation


Kansas City, Missouri