In a time of multiple economic challenges in healthcare and society as a whole, academic plastic surgery units are also struggling to support teaching initiatives, research programs, and poorly remunerative patient care activities. A practical, available, and realistic solution is the establishment of formal fundraising and philanthropic efforts within plastic surgery divisions, sections, and departments. An understanding of donors and their motivations and how the fundraising process operates can lead to a successful long-term fundraising effort, benefitting various areas of the academic plastic surgery unit. Fundraising and philanthropic efforts are essential for the continued success and survival of academic plastic surgery units and will be requisite to ensure that education, research, and clinical programs flourish well into the future.
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