Community benefits are programs or activities that provide treatment or promote health and healing as a response to identified community needs and meet at least one of these objectives:
It implies collaboration with a "community" to "benefit" its residents- particularly the poor, minorities, and other underserved groups-by improving health status and quality of life.
Providing community benefits demonstrates that not-for-profit health care organizations are fulfilling their mission of community service and meeting their charitable tax-exempt purpose as community benefit organizations. The IRS 990 H directs organizations to "describe how the organization assesses the health care needs of the community it serves." Community Benefit Programs must specify community benefit goals and objectives and/or strategies. An organized approach to planning, reporting and evaluating community benefits is more important today than ever before, for several reasons:
Community benefit program planning involves writing goals and objectives, selecting methods to present your program, creating a budget and developing a timeline. These tools will help evaluate what programs and activities are community benefit, how to count those activities as community benefit, and help understand the categorizing process.