Securing the capital needed to build a new or replacement hospital has been especially challenging for many health care organizations since the Great Recession. For publicly financed facilities, the proposition has been particularly tough.

But more and more health care organizations are starting to think big when it comes to private fundraising to assist with capital projects and other endeavors.

The new $1.32 billion Parkland hospital campus in Dallas has overcome all the normal obstacles and then some. When the new main hospital officially opens in August, it will be a landmark event, and not just because of its immense size and scope — the hospital has 862 private rooms and is expected to serve more than 1 million patients a year in rapidly growing Dallas County.

Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the organization already has surpassed its charitable giving program goal from private sources of $150 million. The broad-based campaign included contributions from more than 12,700 donors, with gifts ranging from 50 cents to $50 million.

“The way the people of Dallas County came together to raise this money is an inspiration,” says David Krause, president and CEO for Parkland Foundation, which began its fundraising campaign in 2008 — the same year that Dallas County approved a $747 million bond campaign to help build the new 2.8 million sq.ft. campus.

Funds raised through the “I Stand For Parkland” campaign helped to finance the project. It also marked the largest philanthropy project the health system had ever undertaken, easily outdistancing a previous $14 million effort to support a $26 million ambulatory surgery center. “That was sort of like training wheels,” according to Krause. “We knew we were going to be building a whole new Parkland [campus], so this was a very successful trial run.”

Likewise, in New York, Mount Sinai Health System raised more than $1.5 billion in a successful capital fundraising campaign that ended in December 2013 — exceeding its goal by 50 percent.

In a charitable giving effort named “Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins,” the university and school of medicine hope to raise $4.5 billion by 2017. In 2012, the organization raised $1.94 billion or 43 percent of the goal, including a $350 million donation from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Thanks in large part to the stock market’s eventual recovery, the climate is good for charitable giving in health care, notes Betsy Chapin Taylor, president and principal consultant at Accordant Philanthropy, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. “A lot of hospitals have been repositioning their philanthropy programs and looking at them less as a decorative social endeavor to seeing philanthropy more as a core revenue resource,” Taylor says.