Second opinions are common in health care; whether a doctor is sorting out a difficult case or a patient is not sure what to do
next. In the context of our magazine, the first opinion will always belong to the reader. This feature will allow fellow dental
professionals to share their opinions on various topics, providing you with a "Second Opinion." Perhaps some of these observations
will change your mind; while others will solidify your position. In the end, our goal is to create discussion and debate
to enrich our profession. - Thomas Giacobbi, DDS, FAGD, Editorial Director, Dentaltown Magazine
A clear strategy for your hard-earned giving dollars can help those in the greatest
need while raising awareness of your practice throughout your community.
Strategic giving enables you to demonstrate your commitment to your patients and
community and support a humanitarian effort.1 With so many options and pleas
for support, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the numerous causes and
charities and establish your giving strategy. Here are a few tips that can help.
One option you might want to consider in your giving strategy is the Dentist of Distinction Program from the National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF): America's ToothFairy, a non-profit organization supporting
oral health education and care for vulnerable children. This program provides a
unique giving opportunity that generates positive publicity for your practice and
enables patients to consistently identify you with oral health causes.
- First, identify the causes that are important to you and why. It is only natural
to want to give to a cause that is close to your heart. As a donor, your
values and resources are imperative in determining your philanthropic
direction as well as sustainability of your commitment.2 However, giving
based solely on emotion might not allow you to leverage your resources and
achieve maximum benefit for your giving dollars.3 Consider supporting a
cause that aligns with your profession, such as children's oral health promotion.
This strategy can help you elevate the importance of your services in
the community, create unique giving opportunities through donated services
or products and provide aid to those who need it.
- Carefully select a small number of charities to support. This allows you to give
more to fewer charities and ensure your contributions have a higher impact.
- Encourage the involvement of your team in your philanthropic activities.
Uniting your employees through a good cause creates exceptional teambuilding
opportunities and cultivates a sense of pride in working for your
practice. Participate as a team in a local marathon, walk, ride or sporting
event to raise funds for your chosen cause.
Involvement in a worthy cause can also generate positive public relations
coverage for your practice. Highlight your charitable affiliation in news
releases, patient communications and speaking engagements to build support
for the cause and your brand.
- Incorporating information about your charitable alliances in your patient
communications and on your website exhibits your compassion for others
to current and potential patients.
Positive exposure helps members of your community feel good about choosing
you as their dental provider, attracting new patients and reinforcing patient loyalty
to your practice. The NCOHF Dentist of Distinction Program has a number of
benefits that will help generate positive publicity for your practice and showcase
your commitment to promoting oral health. These benefits include:
These valuable marketing tools are designed to
showcase your leadership in oral-health promotion.
News releases, patient communications and social
media spread the word about your commitment. You
or a member of your staff can utilize the oral health
education kit to promote healthy behaviors and share
important lessons with local families while highlighting
your services in the community. In addition, your
team can be proud to be associated with a caring Dentist of Distinction.
- Practice-building program including news releases, videos, and content for
newsletters and social media
- Oral Health Community Education Kit for use in schools and local outreach
- Certificate of Appreciation for display
- Online recognition as a NCOHF Dentist of Distinction with optional link
- Free membership for the America's ToothFairy Kids Club to offer your
patients and their families
There are two ways you can become a NCOHF Dentist of Distinction and
participate in this exciting program:
Participation in the NCOHF Dentist of Distinction program can position
you as a community leader committed to promoting oral health while helping
children in need.
- Make an annual contribution to support the delivery of oral health services
for vulnerable children.
- Donate professional services through NCOHF: America's ToothFairy programs.
(Volunteer dentists for NCOHF: America's ToothFairy programs are
not required to make an annual financial contribution.)
Philanthropic dollars and services are a precious commodity. It would serve you
and those you wish to aid to assess your giving options and define a strategy to
ensure maximum results and benefits. Implementing a strategic giving strategy can
truly enable you to do well and do good.
- Strategic giving: Reaping the long term benefits. NZ Business, 2010 24(4): p. 53.
- Frumkin, P. Strategic giving: The art and science of philanthropy. 2008. p. 126-127.
- Cole, C.T. The elements of strategic giving. Washington Post, 2008.