Founded in 1986 and headquartered in San Francisco, CA., Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), a GSI client since 1993, is the eighth largest not-for-profit health system in the nation. With 40 hospitals and numerous other healthcare facilities across California, Arizona and Nevada, CHW strategic plans called for an investment of several billion dollars over a ten-year period for capital projects throughout the system. The question: could philanthropy provide at least $1 billion toward this capital funding requirement?

"It was apparent to us we had to get our arms around our fund raising capacity throughout the system" said Mary Jane Crist, CFRE, Vice President of Philanthropy for CHW`s St. Joseph`s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. "We had to know with the highest possible degree of accuracy if this could be accomplished.

To assist CHW in determining if this challenge could be met, GSI first conducted a System-Wide Development Assessment for CHW under the auspices of the system`s Philanthropy Leadership Council. The Assessment led to Horizon 2010, a development strategic plan focused on elevating the role of philanthropy throughout CHW. Horizon 2010`s signature objective was to determine if it was realistic to look to the CHW foundations to raise the $1 billion to help fund the enormous capital funding needs throughout the CHW communities.

Next, GSI put to work its years of experience with healthcare systems and designed the Philanthropic Capacity Assessment (PCA), a totally new and unique methodology to project philanthropic potential. In brief, the PCA provides a systematic analysis of a foundation`s realistic philanthropic capacity over a specified period of time. Proprietary algorithms calculate fund raising potential, by program, compounding current and historical giving results, data from community giving profiles, as well as productivity from anticipated new programs.

"We know of no other methodology of this kind in the philanthropic industry," said Peter Ghiorsi, CEO of Ghiorsi & Sorrenti.

CHW contracted with GSI to conduct PCAs for its twenty six foundations. As of this writing 16 PCAs have been completed and they hold an aggregate projected philanthropic potential of more than $935 million.

"So far, it`s been an educational, and productive, process," said Crist.


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Ann Armater

Ms. Armater is Vassar Brothers Hospital Foundation`s (Poughkeepsie, NY) founding Executive Director, having assumed the position in 1986. Over the years her role has expanded and now she serves as the Vice President for Development for Health Quest, Vassar`s parent organization.

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