Fund-raising company hired by hospital wants to quit |

Fund-raising company hired by hospital wants to quit

Josh Nichols

So far The Memorial Hospital Foundation has raised $267,000 in the community for construction of a new hospital in Craig.

But because of the ongoing consideration of where to build that new hospital, the firm hired to conduct a fund-raising campaign wants to call it quits early.

At Wednesday’s TMH Board of Trustees meeting, board member Jack Bonaker said Philanthropic Professionals Inc., hired last summer to conduct a fund drive in Craig, suggested that it should leave two months before its year commitment to the hospital foundation was up.

“It’s their suggestion,” he said. “They feel like they can’t do their job because of the location issue.”

Because of the suggestion made by Philanthropic Professionals Inc. to leave, TMH Administrator Randy Phelps presented a plan to board members on how the fund drive would be continued without the assistance of the firm.

The plan he presented delegated TMH Community Relations Director Pam Thompson as community foundation director.

Under the new plan, she would split her current duties at TMH with coordinating foundation activities.

With the change, an administrative assistant would be hired to assist her in her role as both community relations director and foundation director.

Because of her duties with the foundation, the foundation board would pay Thompson $15,837 per year out of its budget, and her assistant $7,280 per year.

Right now, the TMH foundation is paying Philanthropic Professionals Inc. $8,500 per month to conduct the fund drive.

Phelps said the plan had always been to continue on with the foundation in the future and said an administrative change for the foundation would have had to have been done eventually.

But because of the Philanthropic Professional Inc.’s desire to leave early, hospital officials have to push the change up two months.

No decisions were made Wednesday on whether to make the change.

“We need to give feedback to the foundation board because they have a decision to make,” Phelps said.

The foundation board meets Monday night.

Phelps said Thompson has been involved in the fund-raising process from the beginning, and has worked closely with Philanthropic Professionals Inc. in the fund drive so far.

He said he was confident in her ability to continue the drive.

The $267,000 raised so far is just a drop in the bucket of the $2 million goal set by the foundation when it was formed but Bonaker said he thought the firm did a good job.

“They got us off to a good start,” he said.

When more details are ironed out about the building plans, Bonaker said he thought more people would be ready to contribute.

Many people approached about contributions, he said, have indicated they will donate when a site has been selected.

In Wednesday night’s building committee report, no decisions were made on potential building sites.

The project manager, who is based in Denver, is still gathering data on several proposed sites in Craig.

That data should include cost comparisons regarding several proposed sites in Craig. A few of those include the Kawcak property across from the Moffat County Public Safety Center, the proposed site for Colorado Northwestern Community College west of Craig and the current hospital location.

The hospital had intended on applying for a grant through the county from the Department of Local Affairs on April 1 for its construction project, but because of the indecision on where the hospital will be built, that application will not likely be filed until Aug. 1.

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or

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