In the early days, financing The Children’s Hospital was seen as a charitable concern rather than one of government. Between 1870 – 1900 only £14,700 of the hospital’s total expenditure of £144,000 came from government grants.
The Children’s Hospital was seen as a particularly suitable charity interest for women.
From the outset, members of the hospital’s Committee of Management were mainly from wealthy families and were the largest contributors to the funding of the hospital.
As well are sharing their own wealth, the committee devoted their time and energy into organising bazaars, raffles, concerts, lectures, balls and auctions to raise large sums of money for buildings, land and equipment. The committee’s ties to the rich and powerful were of great benefit to the hospital.
The first paid administrative worker was the collector, who was responsible for collecting subscriptions and donations. This position got off to a tumultuous start, with theft common place until Mr John Jackson was appointed in 1879. Mr Jackson successfully held this position for 25 years, introducing endowed cots, ‘legion of honour’ certificates and raising subscription numbers.
By 1900 the fundraising systems were well-polished, and the committee had become well-practised at raising funds in a hurry by using press and radio to promote their cause. The hospital was a popular and much loved charity to support and the committee understood how to use this to their advantage.
The committee structure continued until the 1980s.
A Charity Hospital exhibition highlights a selection of fundraising memorabilia which reflect the efforts of raising revenue during the formative years of the hospital.