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Published on August 16, 2022

Avera Foundation Reports Gifts of $46 Million in 2022

The Avera Foundation reports strong giving in 2022, with $46 million raised during fiscal year that ended June 30, 2022.

“We are humbled by the generosity of donors who have stepped forward to benefit our patients, families and colleagues,” said Dzenan Berberovic, Avera Chief Philanthropy Officer. “Across the landscape, nonprofit organizations are seeing decreases in their donor count. We’ve successfully increased the number of supporters from around 17,800 during the previous fiscal year to more than 18,600.”

Avera’s numerous hospital foundations and central foundation unified into one Avera Foundation in 2020. Annual giving averaged $17.7 during fiscal years 2016 through 2020 and then increased dramatically in 2021 to $40 million.

Benefits of a unified Avera Foundation are many, but one is a recognition of the importance of philanthropy at the top leadership of Avera. “Philanthropy is now present at the highest levels of the organization,” said Bob Sutton, President and CEO of Avera Health. “Philanthropy is a key aspect of our strategic plan for the entire system. As such, we’re able to be more strategic about the ways we seek out and use philanthropic dollars for the greater good.”

“We are proud of the engagement of Avera employees in the Avera mission, which translates into their desire to support our organization financially as well,” Berberovic said. In 2022, 44% of Avera employees donated to help fund critical needs, equipment and projects to help patients, residents, families and fellow colleagues.

For the third consecutive year, Avera Foundation was recognized by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) for the High Performer distinction. High Performers represent the top 25% of health care foundations and philanthropy offices throughout the United States and Canada. Additionally, Avera is one of only 15 health systems included as a Health Care System High Performer, reaching the top 25% in net fundraising returns. The accolades are based on fiscal year 2021 data. Avera is the region’s only health system to be listed in both categories.

“Giving to health care allows people to ‘give back’ in recognition and support of health care services that have either saved or enhanced their own life or the life of a loved one. It allows people to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit generations to come,” Berberovic said.

Philanthropic support has been part of Avera’s health ministry for more than 130 years. “The Sisters were joined by their neighbors and friends when they began caring for the sick, poor and marginalized. In fact, Avera McKennan was founded in 1911 thanks to Helen Gale McKennan, who upon her passing, directed a $25,000 gift in her will for a new hospital in Sioux Falls – a hospital that would care for all,” Berberovic said. “Numerous other hospitals and facilities have similar stories of generous benefactors who stepped forward to join the Sisters in this noble work.”

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Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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