“You can be overwhelmed [by requests for donations] or you can be overwhelmed by how much wealth was created for the top one per cent or five per cent in the last 15 years,” Mr. Clark said. “The money is there. What you have to do is aggressively go after it by making people feel they can make a difference.”
But it’s not a lack of money that many fundraisers fear. The concern is that people are so sick of being asked, they’ll stop responding.
“I think people are tuning out because they’re asked so much,” said Sherri Freedman, chief development officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “And people do talk about that a lot.”
“It always seems like people are saying ‘When is it going to end? When is enough too much?’” said Mount Sinai’s Mr. Gryfe.
Despite this, he remains optimistic that the city’s fundraising goals are not exceeding the donor pool’s capacity to give.
“I’ve been in the business for 35 years and as long as I can remember, people thought we had reached the limit, and then someone steps forward and raises the bar. It’s remarkable.”
For people like Mr. Walker, there are limits to how much he can give. He has enough in the bank to provide for his children and plans to make at least one more donation to a hospital that treated his wife. And try as they might, all of the requests hospital fundraisers send to him each week won’t change his mind.
“I’d rather make a large donation to something and feel good about it,” Mr. Walker said. “It means something to me.”