Posted on St. Michael’s Hospital.
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.
Behind these successes lie the mission and values of the hospital.
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.
The most recent Inspire 2018 campaign was St. Michael’s most ambitious and successful, raising $237 million – $27 million beyond their goal – allowing St. Michael’s to become the premiere critical care hospital in Canada. Looking toward the future, Metrick says, “I just think we have nowhere to go but up.”
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
- Help us watch over you
(1996 to 1999)
Target: $20 million
Raised: $23 million
Purpose: to replace equipment and fund renovations.
- It all starts with caring
(2001 to 2004)
Target: $40 million
Raised: $60 million
Purpose: to fund translational research and part of the Cardinal Carter expansion.
- Advancing Care. Every Day.
(2006 to 2009)
Target: $120 million
Raised: $140 million
Purpose: to support the creation of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute in 2011.
- Inspire 2018
(2011 to 2015)
Target: $210 million
Raised: $237 million
Purpose: to fund an ambitious redevelopment project to transform patient care at our hospital, called St. Michael’s 3.0, which includes a new patient care tower at the corner of Queen and Victoria streets, a renovated Emergency Department and significant upgrades to improve the existing hospital space.