Mercy Foundation North takes top Phillies Award

Phillies AwardsMercy Foundation North employees celebrate being recognized as Foundation of the Year by CommonSpirit Health's Phillies Awards. 

CHICAGO, ILL (March 3, 2020) – Mercy Foundation North in Redding, Calif. was recognized with the prestigious Foundation of the Year Phillies Award at the recent CommonSpirit Health Philanthropy Education Summit Reimagined, held on February 13, 2020. The annual Phillies Awards are a system-wide celebration recognizing the efforts and accomplishments CommonSpirit Health®’s affiliated fundraising entities achieved in the prior fiscal year.

“The Phillies are about celebrating our success together, “observed Fred Najjar, Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer for CommonSpirit Health. “So often we are looking ahead to our next goal without pausing to recognize when we’ve achieved something great. The Phillies were created to give us that pause.”

The coveted Foundation of the Year Phillies award is granted to just one of the 79 CommonSpirit Health affiliated fundraising entities. Criteria for the award include three major factors: Achieving the fundraising entity’s cost per dollar raised metric, transferring at least twice their operating expenses back to the hospital, and having a well-balanced fundraising program. A well-balanced program is defined as having significant revenue in five of the seven fundraising programs (annual support, special events, major gifts, campaign gifts, government gifts, corporate and foundation gifts, and planned gifts).

This year’s Foundation of the Year, Mercy Foundation North, supports Mercy Medical Center Redding, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, and Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta in three of California’s northernmost counties. The foundation also supports hospice services in all three counties as well as a fourth facility, Dignity Health Connected Living, which works specifically with the area’s elderly population. The communities served by each facility are rural, many with limited medical access.

As fiscal year 2019 began, wildfires spread through northern California with flames from the Carr fire coming perilously close to Mercy Medical Center Redding and Mercy Foundation North’s offices. 

In the fires’ aftermath, the communities rallied and philanthropic support was high. In Redding, the foundation’s pediatrics campaign raised over $525,000 for equipment to allow children to receive care in the heart of their community. At Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, the foundation committed to raising $1.5 million toward the $8 million project to expand the emergency department, allowing for the treatment of up to 15,000 patients per year. Through the Women’s Health Clinic at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, the foundation is helping to address the lack of prenatal care available to women in Tehama County with a $200,000 campaign to support these essential services. Grateful patients, community members, businesses, and employees came together to support essential quality care.

“Being awarded the CommonSpirit Foundation of the Year is such a joyous, yet humbling, experience for us!” shares Maggie Redmon, President of Mercy Foundation North. 

“Being awarded the CommonSpirit Foundation of the Year is such a joyous, yet humbling, experience for us!” shares Maggie Redmon, President of Mercy Foundation North. “We are a small foundation with a team of six people and have really focused on growing our donor base and increasing opportunities to support health care in our communities. We are truly honored with this incredible recognition.”

Mercy Foundation North raised $3.7 million in FY2019 which was nearly $1 million over budget and 30% more than the previous year. They achieved this through a well-balanced fundraising program, including 15% through planned giving, while also decreasing their operating expenses by 5%. They transferred $2.1 million in funding to the hospitals they serve which was more than budgeted and represented a 30% increase over the previous year. This transfer was equivalent to more than twice their operating expenses, representing a 40% improvement. In FY2019, Mercy Foundation North’s cost per dollar raised decreased nearly 30% to $0.29, compared to $0.40 the previous year.

Other nominees for this year’s Foundation of the Year award included Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado Foundation (Denver, Colo.), Dignity Health Foundation - Inland Empire (San Bernardino, Calif.), Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation (Cincinnati, Ohio), MercyOne Des Moines Foundation (Des Moines, Iowa), and Northridge Hospital Foundation (Northridge, Calif.).

The summit represents a significant investment in the professional development of employees across all of CommonSpirit Health’s 79 affiliated fundraising entities. This year’s summit was held in an innovative “virtual venue” format. Bringing together more than 300 philanthropy professionals across 22 states, the event featured a live audience at Dignity Health Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Calif. and more than 20 coordinated watch sites across the country.

Twenty-one affiliated fundraising entities and six operating divisions were nominated for Phillies Awards at this year’s summit. Awards were given in the categories of: Quality Improvement, Largest Gift Intention, Model Stewardship Award, Top Performing Division, Largest Philanthropic Gift, and Foundation of the Year.