Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation - Client Spotlight

Inova Loudoun Foundation

Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation

Client Spotlight

From Life Support to Healthy Leadership - One-Year Turnaround for Inova Loudoun Foundation Hospital Board

Like so many groups of fundraising volunteers, the Inova Loudoun Foundation board found itself slowly deteriorating in its capacity to raise money. With the absence of an Executive Director for almost three years,
the board was experiencing some difficulties including:

  • Operating with no fundraising plan to guide and coordinate programming with the Hospital’s funding priorities;
  • Experiencing increasingly low attendance at “lecture-style” meetings;
  • Providing little support for foundation-sponsored special events; and
  • No longer making the Hospital Foundation a philanthropic priority.

The Compass Group partnered with Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation’s Director of Development to develop an interim plan that would rejuvenate the board and build a stronger, more active and supportive fundraising team in preparation for hiring the next Executive Director.

With the support of the Foundation Chair and Hospital CEO, the board underwent strategic planning for fundraising process to redefine the future roles and responsibilities of board members, prioritize strategic fundraising objectives, and create strategies to maximize fundraising programs. In a half-day retreat facilitated by Compass, the board successfully created a plan that would:

  • Win the confidence of veteran members
  • Keep the interest of new recruits
  • Create infrastructure to bind the team for an interim period (one year)
  • Establish a participatory, learning environment for volunteers
  • Sustain minimal levels of philanthropic support
  • Show progress repeatedly and frequently
  • Celebrate success, no matter how small

The Foundation organized itself into four workgroups: volunteer leadership, prospect management, communications, and infrastructure. In less than a year, the Foundation board yielded many accomplishments including:
1) Revised bylaws with a focus on strengthening the nominating and orientation process, 2) The inauguration of an annual giving leadership club, 3) A communications and special events audit to evaluate constituent messaging, and 4) Hiring a new Executive Director.

Because of the hard work of Inova Loudoun Hospital Foundation board, newly hired Executive Director Penny Cowden inherited a working board that was ready for her vision and direction. Last month the Foundation completed a planning study and is preparing to launch a major fundraising effort in conjunction with the Hospital’s centennial celebrations in 2012.

About Inova
Inova Health System is Northern Virginia's leading not-for-profit healthcare provider, serving more than 1 million people each year and governed by a volunteer board of community members. For more information, visit

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