Here's Why the Hearst Foundation Is Investing $1 Million in Albany, N.Y. Hospital Expansion

The Hearst Foundation (or foundations, since it's divided into a couple of separate entities for tax purposes) has assets of more than $800 million. While the philanthropic efforts it supports are diverse, close to a third of the Hearst Foundation's annual giving goes to its health portfolio. (See Hearst Foundation: Grants for Hospitals and Health Centers.)

Hearst is selective about the organizations it funds. It prefers to work with entities it knows already and with really large and established groups. About 80% of Hearst's annual grant funding goes to prior grantees (which is good news if you're already a Hearst grantee). Also receiving 80% of Hearst's health grants (though not necessarily the same 80%): organizations with budgets over $10 million, such as universities, major medical centers, and hospitals. (Read Hearst Foundation Director of Grants Mason Granger's IP profile.) A list of Hearst's health grants can be found here.

In recent Hearst medical grant news, the foundation is helping Albany, New York's St. Peter's Hospital expand by putting up $1 million in matching funds for the hospital's Cornerstone Campaign.

St. Peter's is a Catholic hospital serving Albany and the surrounding area, and it is in the process of undergoing what it refers to as a "long-range Master Facility Plan" — essentially major upgrades to the hospital's infrastructure, equipment, services, and staff. These upgrades will cost an estimated $258 million, which the hospital is raising through a combination of operating revenues, traditional financing, and philanthropy. This is where the Cornerstone Campaign comes in. The Campaign, which is intended to raise $35 million in charitable donations, is a major funding component of St. Peter's long-range Master Facility Plan, and one that the Hearst Foundation is helping to support.

More specifically, per the St. Peter's Hospital website, Hearst's grant is being billed as "The Hearst Challenge," in which people give to the hospital to support the Cornerstone Campaign and Hearst agrees to match their donations — up to $1 million. So while Hearst is fronting $1 million to St. Peter's, its gift is being used as a tactic to solicit $1 million in additional funding from a large number of smaller donors. It's a clever path to $2 million for the Cornerstone Campaign.

Organizations interested in funding from the Hearst Foundation can find information on grant applications here. In applying, health groups should be mindful of these guidelines and this list of things that Hearst does not fund.