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NEW STUDY: U.S. Nurses Receive Only 1 Penny of Philanthropic Donations

20 November 2023

Today, the American Nurses Foundation (the Foundation) released the results of a groundbreaking new study “Philanthropic Support for the Nursing Profession”, which examines funding priorities in the nursing profession and the importance of investing in nurse leadership, the impact of diversity in nursing, and the need to ensure nurses properly benefit from health care funding.

Nurses receive only a penny of every dollar donated to health care. Nurses are the largest group of health care professionals in the U.S. and are vital to the functioning of the health care system. Yet between 2015 – 2022, though private donations to health care were substantial totaling $333.3 billion dollars, nurses received only 1% of these contributions.

Effective and equitable health care advances with investments in nursing. Nurses have vast clinical knowledge and expertise, which positions them as innovators and leaders within the health care system. However only 3 out of every 100 grants for nurses focus on investing in nurse leadership or nurse-led innovation.

Invest in diversifying the nursing workforce. This research is suggesting health systems cannot properly provide culturally competent and equitable health care without a diverse nursing workforce that adequately reflects the communities they serve. However, this study shows about only 1% of foundation grant dollars and 1% of the number of grants awarded explicitly referenced diversification of the nursing workforce.

“Given the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice by nurses before, during, and after the pandemic and their critical role in health care delivery, we are under investing in nursing.  Nursing receives only one penny of all private donations to health care. You must ask yourself, are nurses – who are with us from birth to end of life– really worth only one penny? Nurses are instrumental in delivering quality and equitable care. The health care system can’t function without them.  Positive change starts with our genuine support,” said Executive Director of the American Nurses Foundation Kate Judge. People, foundations, and companies donate money because they want to relieve suffering and make the world better.  Those are two of the things that are core to what nurses do and why they care for us all through our lives – from birth to death.  Yet by not investing in them, we are cheating ourselves out of better and more equitable care.  We hope that by shining a light on this issue, we can create meaningful change.”

Visit the American Nurses Foundation to view the complete findings and learn how you can support our nation’s nurses.

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


About American Nurses Foundation
American Nurses Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), with the mission to transform the nation’s health through the power of nursing. The Foundation supports research, education, and systems-transforming programs, which improve health, wellness, and patient care. For more information visit

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