Academic Medical Centers Need 'Philanthropreneurs'

Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) need to transform themselves into entrepreneurial AMCs to a create a product that will satisfy the needs and wants of a growing section of both high-net-worth and medium-income earners who want to make a difference. Universities are uniquely positioned to tackle big problems but they will need to change to do it.

The rapidly changing health care landscape has created both threats and opportunities for major research universities and their affiliated academic medical centers (AMCs). Old business models no longer work and technology has transformed almost every aspect of clinical care. In addition, the research model is broken and academic medical centers and graduate and professional schools are not properly preparing increasing numbers of graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to succeed in non-academic careers.

Consequently, AMCs need to change how they fulfill their missions of clinical care, research, and teaching. As a result, university advancement and fundraising professionals are rethinking traditional strategies and tactics given the emergence of entrepreneurs interested in making a big difference by practicing philanthropreneurship and venture philanthropy.

There are several drivers of philanthropreneurship:

1. Threats to the AMC business and funding model

2. Wicked health problems

3. The migration from top down cluster innovation to community based, participatory innovation

4. Income inequality driven by entrepreneurs

5. Physician entrepreneurship and philanthropreneurship

6. Globalizatoin of threats and opportunities

7. The need for meaning, not more money

8. The need to meet or exceed the wants and needs of philanthropreneurship

9. The spread of social entrepreneurship

10. The changing organization of university fundraising to attract investments, not donations, from both the higher and lower ends of the net worth spectrum

AMCs need to transform themselves into entrepreneurial AMCs to create a product that will satisfy the needs and wants of a growing section of both high-net-worth and medium-income earners who want to make a difference. Universities are uniquely positioned to tackle big problems but they will need to change to do it. Philanthropreneurs are impatient and won't wait long.