Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which continues to formally serve as the owner of the Jerusalem medical centers in Ein Kerem and Mount Scopus, is raising its take on donations to the hospitals. To date, Hadassah has taken 8% for overheads on all money raised for the Israeli hospitals. However, sources inform "Globes" that this overheads take has now been increased to 14%
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America national president Marcie Natan informed Hadassah Medical Organization chairperson Erez Meltzer by letter of this decision several days ago. Natan wrote that the decision would be applied retroactively on all donations received since August.
Senior officials in Israel's health system expressed amazement at this measure and especially its timing when the Jerusalem hospitals remain mired in an economic crisis. Those officials recall that the Israeli government needed to inject over NIS 1 billion into the hospitals as part of a recovery program, which Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America also signed along with a commitment to continue injecting money into the ailing Hadassah Medical Organization. The recovery program, it should be stressed, does not mention how Hadassah raises funds nor does it limit the rate of overheads that the organization takes.
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America stresses that "operational fees" for raising donations are customarily taken by all philanthropic organizations in Israel and around the world. At Hadassah too such fees re required for financing fundraising for the hospitals and the organizations other activities in Israel in education and welfare.
Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America told "Globes," "Without the means to finance fundraising operations, the major amounts of money that have been donated by Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America and are still being donated to the hospitals would not have been contributed. To ensure the continued flow of money to the hospitals, extensive day-to-day activities are required throughout the year to raise donations and maintain ongoing contact with tens of thousands of donors."
Speaking about the need to raise its take from the overheads for financing operations, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America added, "The implementation of the current rise in the operation fee has been long overdue, after there has been no rise for decades while operations for fundraising for the hospitals have significantly expanded and become more expensive."
Sources close to Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America insist that the extra money will definitely not be used for increasing executive salaries and stress that the National President and the rest of the leadership carry out their work on a completely voluntary basis. Fundraising, these sources add, is a specialist job requiring highly skilled professionals. Fundraising also includes flying Israeli doctors and researchers from Hadassah to the US and putting them up in hotels, hiring halls for fundraising events and conferences, and catering - in short a major operation.
Hadassah Medial Organization in Israel has accrued debts of NIS 1.3 billion in recent years with an annual deficit of NIS 300 million. The reasons for the financial mess included: over generous discounts to Israel's health funds, private surgery that was pocketed mainly by doctors even though it was not profitable for the hospital, overstaffing and better salaries than other hospitals, falling donations from Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and poor oversight by the Ministry of Health.
The recovery program signed by the Israeli government, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America and the Hadassah hospital workers committee includes new corporate governance to tighten supervision of management. Future work contracts and agreements will now need to be approved by the Ministry of Finance and the hospitals will be subject to the scrutiny of the State Comptroller.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 16, 2015
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