Community Support Criteria
Periodically St. Mary's receives requests from community groups seeking donations and support for their activities. They are always for a good cause, and it has pained us in the past that we have at times run out of funds to support the many worthy needs in our community.
To help alleviate this challenge, the St. Mary's system has instituted a process that will allow us to use the limited dollars available towards the greatest good. Highlights include:
- A quarterly review process – all requests from the preceding three months will be collected and ranked against a set of criteria;
- Published sponsorship/giving criteria. (See below)
Philanthropic Program Highlights
Statement of Objective/Purpose
- St. Mary's Health System, (SMHS), is a very large employer in Androscoggin County and as such is often asked for financial support for worthy causes. Appropriate responses to these requests are made in a thoughtful manner consistent with our Values of Respect and Stewardship, by the donations committee on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer. In order to ensure consistent consideration and respectful treatment of all requests, a clear process for philanthropic donations has been established and is available to all of the system's various stakeholder groups through the development office.
- St. Mary's encourages employees to get involved in the good work of local community charitable and civic organizations. As a result of this involvement employees often ask for financial support for their chosen organization. In order to ensure that the decision making process for financial contributions is understood by all employees the process description is available on ebits.
- Even when it is not possible for SMHS to directly underwrite a community event or program we can show our support for an employee's involvement by allowing fundraising to occur on our premises in non-work areas on non-work time, such as lunch and rest breaks. This support also has limitations so as not to interfere with service to our patients and to ensure groups being involved on campus are aligned with our mission and values.
- At St. Mary's Health System we believe in supporting our community. Our history is directly tied to the Sisters of Charity religious order who sent members from St. Hyacinthe, Canada in the 1870's to serve the needs of the poor here in Lewiston.
- We have provided for the health care needs of the people of Androscoggin County for over 125 years, regularly providing charity care to those in need and unable to pay. Although this is our organization's major avenue for serving the community, we do support other Non- Profit Organizations with financial support.
In an effort to be focused and clear on where we can make the most significant difference in our financial support we have chosen three service areas that aligned with the leading mission of our Health System.
St. Mary's will consider requests for financial donations in the following categories:
- Underserved groups, especially those living in poverty, those who are homeless or those suffering from behavioral illness.
- Education Improvement, with special emphasis on supporting the educational needs of the children of our employees.
- Elder care, especially safety issues and programs focused on improving the health and well being of the aged.
Criteria for Donations to external non-profits
- The request must be directly connected to one of our three chosen focus areas listed above. We fully understand that there are many worthy causes, but since we are unable to support every request the closer a particular program or event aligns with our focus areas the higher the probability of funding success.
- The requesting organizations must be an established 501C3 non-profit and be able to supply evidence of this status before a donation is considered.
- SMHS favors requests that support long-term sustainable change. Fundraising events held on an annual basis without a measurable impact other than "dollars raised" for a fund, endowment or other unrestricted utilization are not considered from a philanthropic perspective. However, such events may be considered if they meet a marketing need.
- We at SMHS also value collaborative projects. Programs, projects and events that show cooperation and collaborating partner organizations will be favored over work being done by a single entity.
- SMHS values employee community improvement. Any request that is supported through SMHS employees by their personal involvement will be given priority consideration. This is especially true for non-profit organizations on which S.M.H.S officers serve as representatives of our organization.
SMHS, as a non-profit health care system, has budgetary limitations on how much financial support can be donated to community organizations. Therefore, in addition to the previously listed criteria the following limitations apply when considering a request for donation:
- Requests greater than $2,500 will generally not be considered in order to fund as many worthy projects as possible within our budgetary limitations.
- Non- profit organizations receiving financial support may not apply for more than 3 years of continuous support for the same project of program, although a different program may be considered.
- Deadlines for requests are the last day of each calendar quarter for consideration in the next quarter's giving committee's meeting. (The committee meets once per quarter.)
- All requests must be in writing and must address the external criteria previously listed, and be on the 501C3 organizations letterhead. Incomplete request may be returned.
- General focus will be within Androscoggin County.
- All questions may be directed to the SMHS Administrative Office.
External written requests should be mailed to:
St. Mary's Health System
St. Mary's Development Office
PO Box 7291
Lewiston, ME 04243-7291