St. Michael's 125th
A quarter century of inspired fundraising
Dr. James Waddell, chair of the second Physicians campaign and Dr. Joseph Connon, chair of the inaugural Physicians campaign. One of the foundation's most significant achievements has been the 100 per cent physician participation in the last three capital campaigns, a North American first. (Pulse magazine/St. Michael's Hospital Foundation archives)
Alayne Metrick, president of the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, sits in silence for a moment when asked what she’d consider the biggest fundraising moment in her time with the foundation. “Oh boy, there’s a lot of them…” And there are. Having recently announced her retirement, she is leaving a very different organization than the one she joined in 1995, just three years after the foundation was established, under the leadership of the first board chair, Hart Macdougall, and the first president, Ingrid Perry.
“The year prior to my arrival, a much smaller organization than it is today, raised a little over $3 million. They had done some fundraising in the ‘80s, but it wasn’t a major industry like it is today,” said Metrick. In the early ‘90s, there was a great need for significant fundraising – St. Michael’s had the largest debt of any hospital in the country, and paying it back left very little money to spend on equipment or research.
Metrick was asked to start a capital campaign, the first of four in her 22-year tenure. That first year, the foundation brought in $5.5 million net; in 2014-15, it raised $53.2 million in total revenue. Said Metrick, “In that period of time, the hospital was transformed. The completion of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute changed the hospital forever. In a great way. And the new Gilgan tower, the Cardinal Carter expansion…” The list is extensive.
One of the most significant achievements has been the 100 per cent physician participation in the last three capital campaigns, a North American first.
“At first I thought it would be impossible, that nobody could do this,” said Metrick. “But two of the co-chairs at the time, John Tory and Tim Griffin, said, ‘Well now, Alayne, it’s St. Michael’s.’ And they were right, and we did.”
Behind these successes lie the mission and values of the hospital, and a dedication to treating all with respect, compassion and dignity. “It just permeates the place,” said Metrick. “It’s the number one reason we’ve been able to be successful. When staff and volunteers act with compassion and provide excellence every day, our donors are appreciative.”
Capital campaigns over the years
Target: $20 million
Target: $40 million
Target: $120 million
Target: $210 million
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
Rendering of Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower (Rendering by NORR)
See more renderings of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower