FAER Reaches Out to Donors Past and Present to Get Their Thoughts

January 30, 2020

In early 2019, FAER Board members and staff wondered what motivated individuals to give so generously to the Foundation. “We had heard stories about past connections to FAER grants and programs but wanted to take a closer look at what drove our donors to give to us and how they thought we were doing,” said Kari Pantol, Development Manager of FAER. Current and past donors were sent an email survey to gather feedback. Of those contacted, more than 100 responded.

When asked why these individuals donate to FAER, three responses proved most popular: understanding the importance of FAER’s mission to develop the next generation of physician-scientists in anesthesiology; valuing the importance of research in the specialty so it can remain relevant and competitive; and the idea that past recipients of FAER support felt the need to pay it forward and give back. We’ve collected a few examples of these responses below.

“FAER is the best source of research funding and training for staring investigators. Awardees have been highly successful.”

“A means to play a small part in the discovery of new knowledge that will advance Anesthesiology patient care.”

“FAER has supported me in the past and I believe deeply in the need and value of supporting research, particularly emerging researchers, in anesthesia.”

We were delighted to hear that over 80% of the total respondents planned to continue to give regularly. Continuous giving like this allows FAER to go beyond providing the best support possible to current grantees and program participants. It also allows us to plan and expand our efforts in the future.

With how vital donations are to FAER’s grants and programs, we wanted to make sure we convey the significance of this giving and our gratitude. We asked our survey respondents how satisfied they are with our current acknowledgment and appreciation. 62% found it excellent, with an additional 30% stating it was satisfactory.

While we were excited to receive such positive responses, we are always looking to improve our donor care. So, we asked how FAER can better express our appreciation for their support. The answers below are just a couple of the possibilities presented, which we will take into consideration for future recognition.

“Possibly a scrolling list of (small amount) donors at the booth at the annual meeting or even on the website so young researchers and others with an interest can recognize who supports them.”

“Perhaps a pin for my lab coat.”

“Maybe some type of recognition award for length of donation history.”

The FAER team also wanted to know what program or initiative interested our donors most to get a better sense of where their focus lies. Of the total responses, 62% were interested in FAER Grants, while 21% were interested in our programs for residents . These metrics are particularly useful, as they allow us to both plan for the future as well as better disseminate the type of news and updates our donors are interested in.

Of course, there remained the question of FAER’s support of advancing science itself. We asked survey respondents what they considered the most important contributions FAER can make to Advance Patient Care, the Practice of Anesthesiology and the Scientific Foundations of Perioperative Medicine. A few of the open-ended response are below.

“Continue to fund the emergence of high-impact researchers within the anesthesia community - they need every molecule of oxygen for recognition of what they are doing and support for them to continue doing it.”

“Expose students and residents to science so they can understand it even if they don't pursue it as a cornerstone of their career.”

“Continue to help young physicians bridge their research to eventually get federal funding.”

“FAER is about science. And while our ultimate goal is improved patient care, the Foundation should not get distracted from its mission which is training the next generation of anesthesia investigators.”

We thank our donors for completing this survey in 2019. Feedback like this helps us improve our service and support to our constituents. The survey remains open in 2020, so please take a few minutes to give us your thoughts and fill out the survey to help FAER continue to grow.