In shift, Rex eyes major donors, campaigns

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — In June, celebrating its 25th year, the Rex Hospital Open netted $440,000 for the Rex Healthcare Foundation.

Also celebrating its 25th year, the Rex Gala this November expects to net over $125,000 for the Foundation.

While it will continue to focus on those two signature events to raise money for Rex Healthcare, the Foundation is expanding its fundraising strategy to include greater focus on individual donors, including those who give $2,500 or more.

It also is launching six “mini-campaigns” to fund a series of initiatives over the next three years, and gearing up for two capital campaigns to support a new cancer hospital and a new heart-and-vascular hospital that are in the works.

“This community is growing and we have to keep up with the healthcare demands,” says Amy Daniels, a seven-year veteran of the Foundation who recently was named its executive director. “We’re really planning what that means for the Foundation.”

Formed in 1958, the Foundation operates with a staff of eight people, including six involved in fundraising, and raised over $2.3 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

As it moves to increase its focus on individual donors, the Foundation is looking at “current donors and prospects who call Rex their home for healthcare, educating them on what Rex does, bringing them in for tours, and sitting down face-to-face and talking about what the community needs, what they need, and how we can meet those needs at Rex,” Daniels says.

The Foundation is working with consulting firm Capital Development Services on plans for its six mini-campaigns.

The goals include raising $300,000 over three years for assistance for cancer patients; $300,000 over three years for assistance for all other patients; $200,000 over three years for certification and continuing education for nurses; $900,000 over three years to make the services of its two mobile mammography units accessible to uninsured and underinsured women in a 17-county region; launching a new program to support cancer survivors, an effort for which a goal has not been set; and $600,000 over three years to support newborn care.

“These are all programs that strengthen Rex,” Daniels says. “These are touching people’s lives here every day.”

Fundraising at Rex, which opened in 1894, dates to an $11,000 bequest gift in 1839 from Raleigh tanner John Rex to start the hospital.

Rex, an arm of UNC Hospitals that operates with 660 beds and 5,300 employees and sees nearly 34,000 patients a year, has been awarded certificates of need for a new $60 million cancer hospital and a new $278 million heart-and-vascular hospital, which is under appeal.

The Foundation will play a role in raising the money to support the two new facilities, Daniels says.

“Rex has been well-known for our events, and that’s a great branding opportunity,” she says. “There’s a shift underway to start speaking to people on a very personal basis and start showing them what other things are out there.”

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