Want an easy and inexpensive way to generate donations for your nonprofit? Consider email marketing. Online giving is more popular than ever, and email can help support your fundraising efforts.
Stats aside, email is a great way to keep donors, volunteers, and other partners up-to-date on what’s happening within your organization. It makes raising funds for your organization simpler and helps to keep donations coming in on a more consistent basis.
As the year begins to draw to an end, email marketing can help you meet, or even beat, your donation goals. Email is a secret weapon for fundraising– and it’s time to learn how to put it to use.
Campaign Monitor has created 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations as an easy-to-read infographic to help nonprofits. Here are 3 tips from the infographic to help your nonprofit raise more funds:
1. Put Email Campaigns and Social Media Together
Email is a great tool for fundraising, but it works best when paired with social media. Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest can get your message in front of the right people. Most social platforms have special accounts for nonprofits, and some, like Facebook, have donation tools too.
For example, The Royal Children’s Hospital uses Facebook to share different stories and occasionally asks directly for donations.
Including social sharing buttons in your emails is a must, and hopefully something you do already. In addition to this, be sure that the content you have in your email and on your social sites is valuable and can be shared on any platform.
For example, American Lung Association sent a thank you email and asked their readers to share their thanks on Facebook and included links to do so. Their Facebook post has the same image, to keep things consistent. This is a great example of using email and Facebook together.
Not all social media should be about donations. Be sure to mix up what your followers see, and give them ways to interact with your organization that doesn’t involve money. They’ll be more receptive to want to donate at a later date if you’re sharing valuable information throughout the year.
2. Optimize Emails for Mobile
It’s pretty safe to say that mobile phones are here to stay, and marketers need to adapt. More emails are opened on mobile devices than on computers these days, so making sure your emails work anywhere they’re viewed is vital.
As a nonprofit, you probably have limited time and staff to spend on emails, which is where mobile-friendly email templates can be a lifesaver. They’re pre-built to look great no matter what size screen they’re viewed on, you just need to add your fabulous content, links and engaging images. Keep your text fairly short, smaller screens means shorter attention spans, but still include the information that’s going to be useful to your readers.
For example, Whale and Dolphin Conservation has a great mobile-friendly email. Their image is eye-catching, the text is short and to the point and they have a great call to action button right in the middle.
California State Parks Foundation also has a good example of a mobile-friendly email. It’s short, has a great image, and right at the top is a donation link. They share the information they need to, but also make sure their readers have the option to donate from their mobile if they want to.
3. Use Compelling Images
A picture is worth a 1,000 words is so true when it comes to email marketing. Your images will make difference to how people view your organization and how they interact with your emails. Including images that tell your story can help get your message across and share your mission, all without words. And since attention spans are pretty short these days, that’s a pretty useful tool for fundraising.
Photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts on social. Keep that momentum up and use your images on your website, on social media and in your emails for a consistent experience.
Both The Royal Children’s Hospital and The Australian Red Cross use images that convey their message, show who they’re helping, and share what their mission is. Plus they have easy donation buttons in their emails, making it easy for readers to help.
Fundraising online is part of what all nonprofits need to do. Using email marketing makes it much easier to accomplish. You can also use it to stay in touch with donors and volunteers, to share events, and keep them up on how the funds are used. The more people see and interact with your organization, the more likely they are to donate. Use some, or all, of the ideas in 12 Tips Nonprofits Can Use to Get Online Donations infographic and get more donations for your nonprofit.
Andrea Robbins is a demand generation marketer at Campaign Monitor. Her favorite things include getting outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and her Siamese kitty. Say hi on Twitter @andirobz
Everyone who has attained a bachelor’s degree has received a call from their Alma mater asking for donations, perhaps even before the graduation ceremony has concluded. And the statistics show that alumni do give back to their colleges and universities. Luckily, many of these generous gifts will be matched by alumni’s employers.
Matching Gifts to Education (Colleges and Universities)
Most matching gift programs began by only matching to colleges and universities. Many companies expanded their programs to include other nonprofit organizations, or all nonprofit organizations. However, there still remains a large contingent of companies that only match to higher education ( which excludes K-12 educational organizations or schools).
Almost all the companies you’ve read about in our previous posts (such as Bank of America, GE, Coca-Cola, Home Depot) will match gifts to colleges or universities. In this post we put together a list of some companies with lesser known matching gift programs. Oftentimes when a company only matches to higher education they can fall under the radar.
List of Companies Matching Gifts to Universities
This list is by no means comprehensive but rather a sampling of well known companies with matching gift programs. In fact, over 65% of Fortune 500 companies have an employee matching gift program.
Allstate will match gifts to higher education on a dollar for dollar basis through their Good Hands Matching Gift program. They will also match 15% on donations made to other 501(c)(3) organizations.
ConAgra Foods Inc.
ConAgra will match gifts to higher education between $25 and $1,000. They also match to programs for nutritional education; these programs need not be associated with a college or university.
The popular online auction site will match employee donations made between $25 and $500 per year. In addition to matching gifts to education, Ebay will also match gifts to most other nonprofit organizations.
Sherwin-Williams offers a matching gift program where the company matches up to $3,000 in donations to a wide variety of nonprofits including colleges and universities.
The company’s matching gift program is open to both current employees as well as retirees.
And in case that’s not impressive enough, Sherwin-Williams also has a great volunteer grant program.
Although ExxonMobil is actually quite well-known for its corporate philanthropy, it is worth noting in terms of higher education because of how generous the corporation’s program is. ExxonMobil offers two matching gift programs, the Arts and Cultural Matching Gift Program and the Educational Matching Gift Program.
Through the Educational Matching Gift Program, ExxonMobil will match donations to higher education institutions, including U.S. colleges and universities. They match at a 3:1 ratio for the first $7,500 donated.
Examples of four colleges and universities promoting matching gifts across their online fundraising:
Adrian College, located in Adrian, Michigan, is a private liberal arts college that was recently ranked as the #1 Midwest College by U.S. News and World Report.
Adrian College promotes matching gifts on their:
- Dedicated matching gift page
- Donation form with a screen overlay
Main dedicated matching gift page:
If alumni are looking for different ways to support their alma mater, Adrian College’s matching gift page offers helpful information to donors about making their donations go further. They let donors know that it might not just be their own employer that will match their donations; contributors can also solicit their spouses’ companies for matching donations or ask if a company they retired from will match their gift.
Adrian College then offers Double the Donation’s search tool to help donors check if their employers will match their donation.
Alumni and others who are ready to give to Adrian College can find more information about matching gift programs on the institution’s online donation form. In addition to the other options on the page, Adrian offers donors the chance to look into matching gift programs their employers provide.
When the link is clicked, there is a screen overlay with matching gift information. Users simply type in the name of the company they work for to find matching gift information.
If their employer provides a matching gift program, the screen overlay displays important information such as:
- Minimum or maximum donations that will be matched
- Corporate contact information
- Links to the electronic matching gift submission process / relevant matching gift forms
- Easy to understand instructions
Founded in 1958, Eckerd College is a private, liberal arts college located in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Eckerd College promotes matching gifts on their:
- Donation form with a link to a new window
- Dedicated matching gift page
If alumni and other individuals choose to contribute through Eckerd College’s easy-to-use online donation form, they can find information about matching gifts in two separate places. Both the text link and the graphic in the sidebar take users to an informative dedicated matching gift page. The matching gifts section of the donation form itself then allows donors to indicate whether their donation will be matched by their employer or their spouses’ employers’ matching gift programs as well.
When either the text link or the graphic is clicked, a new window opens taking donors to the college’s dedicated matching gift page. This page tells donors that their spouses’ employers and even former employers (for retirees) could offer matching gift programs to make their donation go further.
Dedicated Matching Gift Page:
Eckerd College’s dedicated matching gift page highlights the Double the Donation search tool for donors to use to research their employers’ gift matching programs offering helpful information and guidelines.
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, commonly shortened to simply The Cooper Union, was established as a privately funded college in 1859 by Peter Cooper on the idea that education should be accessible and free to qualified students regardless of race, gender, wealth, or social status. Until 2014, the college granted each admitted student a full-tuition scholarship valued at approximately $150,000. Students who attended The Cooper Union can donate and help fund scholarships, events, and academic endeavors.
The Cooper Union promotes matching gifts on their:
- Dedicated matching gift page
- Donation form with Double the Donation’s tool in an expandable matching gift section
Dedicated Matching Gift Page:
The Cooper Union’s matching gift page lets alumni and other donors know about matching gifts and gives them instructions on how to obtain a matching donation from their employer. The page also encourages donors to use Double the Donation’s search tool to look for more in-depth information about their employers’ matching gift programs. Additionally, the page offers vital contact information if donors have other questions.
For donors who are ready to give, The Cooper Union’s online donation form also offers information about matching gift programs that their employers may provide. At the bottom of the page, donors can open an expandable matching gift section.
When a user clicks on the expandable section, the Double the Donation search tool appears to help donors research more about their employers’ matching gift programs. Once a donor finds their company, they can find forms, guidelines, and instructions to help their donation to The Cooper Union go even further.
The University of Utah is a space-grant research university based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Established in 1850, the University of Utah offers over 100 majors and is home to Utah’s only medical school. Former students and others who wish to give to the University of Utah help fund libraries, scholarships, academic projects, and athletic programs.
The university promotes matching gifts on their:
- Ways-to-Give page
- Dedicated matching gift page
- In the donation process with a screen overlay
Ways to Give Page:
While the University of Utah offers its donors many ways to donate, they use the space on their Ways-to-Give page to promote corporate matching gift programs. Not only do they provide general information about matching gift programs, but they also provide donors with Double the Donation’s search tool to learn more about their specific employer’s gift matching policies.
Matching Gift Page:
In addition to including matching gifts on the Ways to Give page, the University of Utah has a designated matching gift page so they can promote matching gifts via email and social media. They give donors the same search tool that can be found on the Ways to Give page so donors can instantly access the matching gift forms, guidelines, and instructions they need.
Along with company specific matching gift information they also offer many of the most common questions that donors may have.
For donors who already know how they want to donate to the university, the donation page reminds them of matching gift programs. Donors are given the option to designate their contribution to a specific program or institute at the university and are also encouraged to look into matching gift programs by clicking on the matching gift link that opens to a screen overlay.
When a user clicks on the link it leads to a screen overlay:
Additional Matching Gift Marketing Resources:
The colleges and universities who have the most matching gift success incorporate matching gifts throughout their broader fundraising efforts.
While the above examples provide a few samples from a handful of colleges and universities, we encourage you to check out the following resources:
- Download our Ultimate Guide to Marketing Matching Gifts
- View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts in the donation process
- View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts across your communications
- View ideas and examples of how to promote matching gifts across your website
Additional Strategies for Higher Education Institutions Seeking Matching Gifts
A generous corporate philanthropy program can only help your institution if your donors are aware of the potential. You’ll need to take an active approach to both promoting matching gifts and seeking out candidates.
Strategies for colleges and universities can have quite the range, including:
- Asking for matching gifts during phonathons
- Collecting employer information through prospect research or career services
- Researching the employers of new graduates, checking to see if the companies match gifts, and notifying the eligible graduates of the submission guidelines
- Incorporating matching gifts into your online donation pages
- Adding matching gift details to alumni newsletters
- And much more
Matching gifts are a valuable resource, so ensure that your institution is taking advantage of the potential. It won’t take much, but, as you can see from the corporate guidelines sampled above, a little goes a long way with matching gifts.
One of the most rewarding perks of working at a healthcare facility are the meaningful relationships your staff forms with patients. As such, it’s only natural for patients to seek an outlet for expressing their thanks after receiving life-changing treatment.
Luckily, that’s where grateful patient programs come in! This top healthcare fundraising strategy allows patients or their families to honor your hospital’s staff, an area of care, or clinical program with a generous donation.
However, the best part about grateful patient programs is that donors are able to make a tangible contribution that directly impacts the quality of your patient care, such as by giving funds for a cancer research program or a new MRI machine.
That’s why we’ve got your back by outlining seven essential steps for supercharging your grateful patient program:
- Gain support for your grateful patient program.
- Create grateful patient protocol for your hospital.
- Provide access to grateful patient materials.
- Screen prospects for your grateful patient program.
- Emphasize patient well-being in your grateful patient program.
- Open the door to healthcare fundraising matching gifts.
- Track your grateful patient program’s progress.
So take a moment to read along and if you like what you find, spread the word with the rest of your healthcare fundraising team!
1. Gain Support for Your Grateful Patient Program
If you’re just as jazzed about grateful patient programs as we are, then your first step is to get more influential hospital staff on board.
With the support of your hospital administration, board members, and CEO, your healthcare fundraising team can form a group alliance to help plan, manage, and promote a successful grateful patient program.
For instance, your hospital administration and board can lend support for advancing healthcare fundraising initiatives associated with your grateful patient program.
Likewise, major and planned gift officers can conduct prospect research, organize donor data, and cultivate lasting donor healthcare bonds.
Once the program has support from higher-up authorities, your hospital can then rally together doctors and nurses to act as ambassadors for the grateful patient program.
Understandably, doctors and nurses may be uncomfortable with directly soliciting gifts from patients or families.
To help ease the burden, encourage your physicians to only provide information about your grateful patient program to those who express a specific interest in giving back to your hospital.
Final thought: Like all of your hospital’s efforts, running an amazing grateful patient program will require the unique talents and support of your entire hospital team.
2. Create Grateful Patient Protocol for Your Hospital
As mentioned earlier, physicians may (and should) express concerns about fundraising interfering with patient treatment.
To ensure a smooth implementation of a grateful patient program, your fundraising team must address potential challenges early and often by establishing policies that reflect:
- Compliance with HIPAA guidelines and dedication to protecting patient privacy (see section 5).
- A set of protocols to establish when and how major gift officers or other fundraisers may approach a patient.
- A set of protocols to establish when and how physicians and staff can advocate for the grateful patient program.
- A clear, open line of communication for physicians and staff to address concerns.
By acknowledging these factors in your grateful patient program, you can foster an environment where hospital staff and fundraisers treat contributors as patients first and donors second.
Final thought: Enforce guidelines that resolve more delicate issues associated with your grateful patient program to set hospital staff and fundraisers’ minds at ease.
3. Provide Access to Grateful Patient Materials
In an ideal situation, a patient will express their desire to give back to your hospital without provocation. However, in reality many patients may feel this way without vocalizing their gratitude to the right people.
To shed light on your giving initiatives, your healthcare fundraising team should create grateful patient materials easily accessible in the form of:
- A dedicated page on your hospital’s website.
- Easy-to-grab materials, like brochures or pamphlets, to be placed in the hospital.
Doctors and nurses should be aware of where these materials are so they can provide them to patients in a flash.
To make the giving process that much easier, your hospital should also look into incorporating effective online donation tools for patients to utilize for making contributions.
These virtual giving tools can provide donors with a fast and convenient way to support your grateful patient program with capabilities like:
- Fast processing of gifts and donation receipts
- Recurring giving options
- A matching gift search tool
- Specific donor data collection
- Integrated merchandise sales for fundraising events
Don’t forget to research online giving tools that already integrate with your existing nonprofit CRM or fundraising software to create less work ahead of time.
Final thought: Grateful patient materials, especially online donation tools, can efficiently educate patients on your giving options and procedures.
4. Screen Prospects for Your Grateful Patient Program
It’s no secret that hospitals that can target donors with the highest giving potential are more likely to see a return on their investment.
That’s why it’s imperative for your healthcare facility to take full advantage of prospect research resources to increase your flow of grateful patient donations.
Screening patients can help hospitals identify constituents who have the affinity and the ability to give a significant donation.
Typically, there are three strategies hospitals rely on to incorporate prospect research into grateful patient programs:
- Daily patient screenings — This method allows your healthcare fundraising team to monitor current and discharged patients by analyzing giving abilities.
- Prospect screening services — You can utilize services like wealth or bulk screenings through prospect research consultants or screening companies to filter through donor data.
- In-house research team — These professionals are enlisted by your hospital for the sole purpose of performing prospect research screenings.
Once your hospital’s fundraising team has narrowed down key prospects, you can then craft targeted communications to peak their interests in your grateful patient program.
Not sure where to begin with prospect research? Look no further than our top 10 roundup of the best prospect research tools for nonprofits (and healthcare facilities).
Final thought: Screening patients early on can help your healthcare fundraising team create custom solicitation strategies that attract high-value grateful patient donors.
5. Emphasize Patient Well-Being in Your Grateful Patient Program
Without question, your medical institution’s highest priority should be treating patients; in other words, a grateful patient program will always come second. Hospitals can be stressful places, even for patients who receive the best possible care and leave with great results.
That’s why in your grateful patient communications, your healthcare facility should always remain conscientious of these factors by:
- Respecting patient privacy.
- Aligning donation opportunities with expressed interests.
- Seeking organic opportunities to reach out to prospects. For example, if a physician is being recognized at your hospital, the physician’s former patients would be prime prospects for contributing in the physician’s honor.
- Creating a strict solicitation timeline. Follow-up materials should only be sent after a patient has been discharged. Each hospital can determine when the first communication should be sent.
To help personalize your grateful patient outreach, invest in a top-notch marketing software to share donation opportunities that are most valuable to specific patients.
Incorporate your prospect research data to note which communication channels a patient prefers, whether it be email, newsletter, social media, or otherwise. You can also use analytical reporting in your marketing software to observe which outreach techniques are performing better than others.
That being said, the best way to honor patient well-being during healthcare fundraising is to adhere to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
A legal measure, HIPAA guarantees patient protection for confidential medical information against use in a hospital’s healthcare fundraising or promotions.
While there are a number of protected health information (PHI) that your hospital is free to use without a patient’s consent, remember to take special care when requesting the following HIPAA-defended items:
- Nature of service
- Medical treatment
It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place for when a patient withdraws their permission to use their medical records in a previous agreement with your hospital.
Final thought: Tailor your donor outreach and respect HIPAA policies to ensure your grateful patient program takes a backseat to a patient’s protection and recovery.
6. Open the Door to Healthcare Fundraising Matching Gifts
Implementing a stellar grateful patient program is an accomplishment all on it’s own; but did you know there’s a way for your hospital to maximize those funds?
The answer lies in the brilliance of embracing matching gifts into your healthcare facility’s fundraising strategy.
Matching gifts allow your grateful patients to utilize their employer’s matching gift program and have them double their contribution to your hospital!
What’s more is that your medical institution can easily set up and promote this donation goldmine: all it takes is for you to incorporate a matching gift search tool into your grateful patient donation process.
The best way to go about doing this is by including a matching gift search tool into your grateful patient online donation form. That way, patients in the middle of making a donation can go one step further by searching for their employer’s matching gift program without having to navigate away from the tool.
In addition, your hospital can showcase a matching gift search tool right on your website like Mercy Corps so adequately did:
As you can see, their matching gift search tool is prominently displayed and simple for members of your healthcare fundraising team to direct grateful patients too.
On the other hand, you can always make the most of paper matching gift request forms for your less tech-savvy donors.
Final thought: Paper or electronic, it doesn’t matter which matching gift alternative you support; so long as your grateful patients are aware of this fabulous opportunity.
7. Track Your Grateful Patient Program’s Progress
Last but not least, the success of your grateful patient program all comes back to how you monitor it’s progress and tweak the system to more accurately reflect your hospital’s needs.
Medical institutions should establish clear goals and criteria for how their grateful patient program should develop based on metrics like:
- Retention Rate
- Average gift size
On top of metrics, your healthcare fundraising team can evaluate success more easily if you keep track of:
- How long it takes to convert a prospect to a grateful patient donor.
- The response rates to different grateful patient communications.
- The response quality to different grateful patient stewardship techniques.
To maintain a better grip on all of these influential factors, there are plenty of free or low-cost nonprofit CRM software out there for your hospital to explore. In the long run, this core technology will save your healthcare fundraising team a lot of stress while managing your grateful patient program’s growth.
Final thought: Make time to periodically check your grateful patient program’s progress by analyzing metrics and donation practices.
The bond between patients and healthcare staff is like no other; it requires hard work, respect, and communication to get to the heart of someone’s discomfort as painlessly as possible. Encourage your patients to help others receive the same exceptional care by making a personal donation to your grateful patient program.
For more must-know tips on how to boost your healthcare fundraising, feel free to browse our additional resources:
- 5 Healthcare Fundraising Strategies to Skyrocket Donations — Elevate your healthcare fundraising with our master strategies for medical facilities of all shapes and sizes.
- Donor Management Software: Out Top 9 Picks — Coordinate your healthcare fundraising prospect and donor information with our top software recommendations!
- DonorSearch’s 7 Healthcare Philanthropy Tips to Ensure Ethical Fundraising — Ensure your healthcare fundraising doesn’t stray into unethical territory with DonorSearch’s philanthropy tips.
Your healthcare facility works hard to give your community of patients the best care possible, so it’s only fair that you get some of that love and devotion in return — with fundraising!
Healthcare fundraising is instrumental for securing the necessary staffing, equipment, and facility renovations your organization needs to function at maximum capacity.
However, many hospital fundraising teams are, in the dark on how best to rally their supporters and jumpstart a steady flow of donations.
We know how busy your schedules are, so we’ll make this brief: below you’ll find the top five ultimate fundraising strategies that no medical institution can do without!
Let’s take a peek at what’s to come:
- Engage healthcare fundraising with corporate philanthropy.
- Develop a top grateful patients program for healthcare fundraising.
- Host healthcare fundraising meetings about your hospital foundation.
- Send targeted healthcare fundraising communications.
- Create (and market!) a stellar healthcare fundraising online donation form.
These essential fundraising tactics can save your healthcare facility time, energy, and money so that you can get back to doing what you do best: saving lives!
So take a breather from your daily duties and follow along with us; we promise to make it well worth your while!
1. Engage Healthcare Fundraising With Corporate Philanthropy
Corporate philanthropy has been trending like crazy in recent years, not only to benefit healthcare, nonprofit, education, and other fundraising fields, but also to stir up positive publicity and employee engagement within active companies.
That’s why to get a leg up in your healthcare fundraising feats, it’s always smart to seek a partnership with corporations known for their philanthropic history and variety of giving initiatives.
For healthcare organizations in particular, corporations can give you philanthropic support by:
- Sponsoring a healthcare-related fundraising event.
- Promoting their brand on your healthcare fundraising event merchandise.
- Investing in a capital campaign to raise money for specific hospital needs like new MRI machines or a hiring budget for more nursing staff.
- In addition, the whole point behind cause marketing is to encourage mutually-beneficial relationships between corporations and fundraising organizations.
For example, the ever-popular Red Nose Day charity collaboration with Walgreens has raised millions of funds to support children in poverty throughout the United States.
On the other hand, if you’d rather team up with a tight-knit community, you can always take inspiration from campaigns like Face of Diabetes which implemented DipJar’s giving kiosks in local Alabama retail stores to encourage credit card donations.
When approaching a corporation for philanthropic support, remember to sell them on a specific cause that’s easier to brand and publicize as well as has a personal connection with the business.
For instance, a company could screen their employees to see if a large percentage of them are affected by a particular health concern or take an employee poll on a medical cause they would be most interested in supporting.
Essentially, the more you frame your pitch to highlight the corporate benefits of your fundraising partnership, the faster you’ll have them on board and committed.
Treat yourself to more phenomenal cause marketing campaigns with our exclusive roundup guaranteed to inspire your healthcare fundraising.
The bottom line: Corporate philanthropy provides an excellent opportunity for you to raise healthcare publicity and funds while shining a positive light on prominent businesses.
2. Develop a Top Grateful Patients Program for Healthcare Fundraising
Although many hospitals already solicit donations from grateful patients, organizing a program around that specific purpose can do wonders for your healthcare fundraising and donor stewardship.
Grateful patient programs also give patients the opportunity to express their thanks to a physician or facility that played a meaningful role in their treatment.
Not to mention, grateful patient programs can bolster your hospital’s reputation for patient care and attention which in turn can lead to more major donations.
For example, the JFK Medical Center offers an exemplary grateful patient program that allows patients and their families to honor hospital staff, an area of care, or a clinical program with a financial contribution.
In addition, the Boston Children’s Hospital encourages families to honor loved ones with memorial and planned giving opportunities.
While assembling your grateful patient program, consider your answers to the following questions to ensure yours is a success:
- How will your program be managed? — Develop your program’s prospect research and solicitation pipeline and arrange frequent check-ins with your team members.
- Who are your grateful patient program team members? — Recruit an integrated healthcare staff including: doctors, nurses, hospital administration, and a development committee with major and planned giving officers.
- What are your budgetary concerns? — Map out areas of your program that may require more financial need than others.
- How will you screen prospects and organize donor data? — Invest in top data management software and conduct daily patient screenings to analyze giving factors.
- What are your recruitment strategies? — Get to know individual patients and work out a personalized solicitation game plan for current and discharged prospects.
Finally, remember to treat your patients as people first and donors second by respecting their healthcare information privacy.
Handle your solicitations with tact by consulting the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines for getting a patient’s written consent on using their medical data for fundraising or promotional purposes.
For more information on how to launch an influential grateful patient program, master our seven key steps for success!
The bottom line: Curating a powerful grateful patient program can help your hospital efficiently manage prospects and boost healthcare donations.
3. Host Healthcare Fundraising Meetings About Your Hospital Foundation
It’s no secret that when it comes to healthcare fundraising, hospital foundations are essentially your medical institution’s advocates, go-getters, and best friends all rolled into one.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the role of a hospital foundation, these nonprofits act independently to generate funds and awareness for local hospital needs. As an isolated entity, these organizations usually have their own fundraising agenda and board of directors separate from the medical facilities they assist.
To give you a better frame of reference, some of the primary duties of a hospital foundation include:
- Overseeing healthcare donations and hospital endowments.
- Organizing annual or capital campaigns for general or specific projects.
- Hosting fundraising events and activities on behalf of a hospital.
- Providing educational scholarships to up-and-coming healthcare professionals.
Unfortunately, many healthcare patients, donors, and staff are unaware of all the good deeds these important allies perform behind the scenes.
That’s why it’s your obligation as part of your fundraising strategy to give your hospital foundation a hand by hosting informative meetings to showcase their brilliant goals and efforts.
With these meetings or luncheons, your hospital can clarify fundraising options and meet face-to-face with interested prospects. In return, prospects learn more about how to channel their gratitude toward medical programs they’re most passionate about.
From these interactions, hospitals can also determine areas of interest for constructing effective fundraising campaigns or events like charity auctions that address specific healthcare concerns.
The bottom line: Highlight the fundraising efforts of your affiliated hospital foundation with regular, informative donor and prospect meetings.
4. Send Targeted Healthcare Fundraising Communications
Once your medical institution lands a generous donation, you can sever all ties with the donor in question right? The correct answer is “no” but sadly this is often the case for healthcare fundraising teams that fail to prioritize donor stewardship.
That’s why one critical fundraising practice for medical facilities (and all organizations) is to grow prospect and donor relationships by initiating personal healthcare communications.
These exchanges can be a lot easier if your fundraising team segments donors first in your donor management software in order to send only the most valuable information to your loyal supporters.
For example, donors should receive frequent updates on how their gifts have been used to help staff and patients, while prospects should receive news about giving to programs that match their areas of interest (think: a former cancer patient may be particularly interested in supporting a fundraiser for the cancer ward).
Furthermore, former patients should also be informed when their physicians or medical team are honored for fundraising contributions online or at events.
With a variety of digital communications at your fingertips, we aren’t really concerned with which method you choose to reach out to donors. Instead, your main focus should be on connecting donors with your fundraising efforts and, more importantly, emphasizing their value to your organization.
Get the most out of your donor communications by keeping these top tips in mind:
- Share your healthcare facility’s story or highlight inspiring physician or patient stories.
- Utilize emotional and eye-catching visual media like photos, videos, and infographics.
- Provide examples of how a donor’s support directly influenced your healthcare fundraising.
- Make donors feel a part of something bigger by casting a long-term healthcare fundraising vision.
- Thank donors as valued members of your team with unique and targeted gestures.
- Encourage donors to reach out to you with questions or concerns about donating time or funds.
Once again however, take extra care in ensuring all of your healthcare fundraising communications are HIPAA compliant.
The bottom line: Strengthen donor relationships by personalizing your healthcare fundraising updates and endeavors in your direct communications.
5. Create (and Market!) a Stellar Healthcare Fundraising Online Donation Form
When was the last time your healthcare institution revamped its online donation form? Whether or not it’s been a while, it’s imperative that you understand how much this tool can make or break your healthcare fundraising.
Why Online Donation Forms are Valuable for Fundraising
For starters, online donation forms accomplish a variety of tasks that make your healthcare fundraising efforts outrageously easier like:
- Reaching a wider audience by offering an accessible and shareable donation option.
- Collecting donor data to document preferred giving means and average gift amounts.
- Tracking fundraising results to assess your virtual outreach and completed donations.
In addition, your online donation form can be key to accepting annual fund gifts or capital campaign gifts via a fundraising webpage.
How to Design a Donor-Ready Online Donation Form
When crafting an outstanding online donation form, it’s best to keep the design details as simple as possible to better attract and retain donors such as:
- Sticking to one page with minimal (yet effective) branding.
- Limiting the number of steps it takes to complete the form.
- Optimizing your online donation form for mobile or tablet use.
- Providing suggested giving amounts to accelerate the process.
- Allowing donors to share their gifts on social media platforms.
A busy or unresponsive layout can easily deter donors from following through with an online donation. By offering an easy-to-navigate platform and more giving options to fit individual needs, your healthcare institution can make online giving an easy and rewarding donor experience.
How to Attract Corporate Philanthropy With Your Online Donation Form
Once you have a winning design, your healthcare facility can then embed the online donation form into foundation materials like digital brochures, e-newsletters, emails, and more with the URL link.
Better yet, you can even use your online donation form to bring in corporate philanthropy by including a matching gift search tool!
If your healthcare fundraising team is unfamiliar with how to use a matching gift search tool for online donations, don’t sweat it! Simply follow along as we detail the steps for utilizing Double the Donation’s matching gift widget with Mercy Corps:
1. Enter the name of your company employer.
Start by searching for your employer to discover whether or not they have a matching gift program in place.
2. If your company is listed, follow the instructions for starting the matching gift process via your online donation form.
Discover your company’s matching gift ratio, types of organizations they assist, and which employees are eligible to participate. You can also review submission deadlines.
3. Click the link to your company’s matching gift request form.
You may have to create an account before you’re allowed to proceed with your virtual matching gift request.
The bottom line: Make the most of your online donation form with a killer design and matching gift search tool to provide donors the luxury of multiple giving options to your medical institution.
There’s no doubt that healthcare fundraising is a group effort that requires a lot of sweat, creativity, and grit — but with the right fundraising strategy up your sleeve, it can also be fun and rewarding for both your hospital and donors.
Have a blast with your healthcare fundraising by aiming for even bigger donation goals with these powerful tactics!
For more game-changing resources on healthcare fundraising, dive into our additional resources:
- Matching Gifts: The Expert’s Guide — Double the healthcare donations you deserve by learning more about the magic of matching gift programs with 360MatchPro!
- CRM Software: A Nonprofit’s Ultimate Guide — Get your hands on the right nonprofit CRM software to curate all your healthcare fundraising initiatives from one place.
- DonorSearch’s 7 Healthcare Philanthropy Tips to Ensure Ethical Fundraising — Take full advantage of your new healthcare fundraising strategies with DonorSearch’s essential best practices!
Your relationship with your donor is like any other – if you want to keep it healthy and strong, you have to put in some work. You like them and they like you so get to know them! What are their likes and dislikes? Do they have any special interests or past experiences that have shaped them and their values? Where do they live? Where do they work? Wait – where do they work?
Getting to know your donor deepens the relationship and can help you garner vital information that just may contribute to your fundraising success. Matching gift programs are an extension of corporate giving and offer companies a vehicle through which to support employee charitable giving.
Getting to know your donor and where they work may guide you to dollars that you are currently overlooking as it offers the opportunity to tap into their company’s matching gift programs.
What do you know about your board members, volunteers, and donors? Perhaps some of them work for companies that offer some type of workplace giving program, which could be a valuable source of additional funding. As interest in corporate social responsibility grows, more and more companies have explored how to present themselves in a positive light to their consumers.
Corporate social responsibility isn’t just about minimizing the negative impacts of doing business. It’s about giving back and it may include a corporate volunteer grant program! Such programs encourage employees to get involved in their communities. The hours that an individual spends volunteering with you may translate to money from their company in the form of a volunteer grant.
It can be easy to get caught up in the potential of mapping the relationships that spin off from just one donor. These workplace programs are a great source of funding, but they often need to be initiated by an employee.
As they learn more about how their company will support their community service, you may see incredible returns on the time you invest in nurturing these relationships. It all seems so rich with potential, but where does fundraising compliance come in?
This widening circle of relationships makes fundraising compliance that much more essential. There’s an excellent chance that your organization is incorporated in one of the 41 states that require charitable solicitation registration. There’s an even better chance that you are soliciting gifts in one of those 41 states.
You’ve done an incredible job with your programming. Your donors are impressed and uplifted by how you communicate the impact of their gifts. They have found that you and your financial values are compatible with their interests. Now, they are asking their employers to match their gift and elevate the capability of their contribution. That’s solicitation.
It’s not just about where you are; it’s about where you solicit. You’ve asked your donor. That donor’s employer has matched their gift and added the company name to your roster of contributors. The state laws regulating charitable solicitation generally require that an organization register before soliciting the state’s residents. Make sure you register before you ask, that way you don’t trip over technicalities as the money comes rolling in.
When that generous donor sent you a gift and asked their employer to amplify their donation with a matching gift, the giving train left the station. Your board members and volunteers have put in the hours and are now soliciting volunteer grant awards that recognize their contribution to the community.
You don’t want to leave money on the table, especially when you’ve done the research and the work. Determine if you’re soliciting in a state and make sure you’re meeting all of the necessary requirements – before you ask.
The risks of noncompliance are worth mentioning. Many state agencies have expanded their roles from registration offices to enforcement. Such powers bring increased scrutiny of charitable organizations.
It’s not enough to just try not to draw attention to yourself. Be proactive. In fact, organizations that have solicited without registering, even for many years, are rarely penalized for registering proactively and in good faith.
If you’re not registered for charitable solicitation, you run the risk of:
- Fines and penalties that pull vital dollars away from the work that you are doing in your community.
- Audits and enforcement actions that take your limited staff and financial resources away from your mission.
- Bad PR that can damage the reputation of your organization (and its leadership) and follow you for years to come.
Prioritizing compliance makes good sense as you build your fundraising prowess and engage a diverse community of individuals and companies in your program. As you know, noncompliance can lead to harsh penalties like tax exemption repeals, steep fines that accrue day by day, and dissolution of an organization.
But luckily, in today’s world, it’s easy for anyone to research an organization and their registration status. It’s important for you that research about you highlights good news and further incentives for supporters to give their time and money (and to then ask their employer to do the same).
Remember these four key steps and keep your fundraising compliance on track.
- Research: Know your status in each state and you can easily map your path to compliance, including which applications to complete and what fees may be charged.
- Apply: Make sure you are preparing the correct forms in the most streamlined and cost-effective manner.
- Monitor: Follow these applications through to approval, for your, your donor’s, and their employer’s peace of mind.
- Renew: Track due dates and fees so that your renewals are on time and complete.
Instill confidence in your donors so their focus stays on your mission. Transparency and accountability preserve the trust you’ve built.
As Double the Donation will tell you, while $2 to $3 billion is donated through matching gift programs every year, only about 1 in 10 eligible donors match their donations. Tapping into these financial resources could make real change very possible.
Just make sure you do it the right way by being proactive about preserving your harmonious donor relationships. Getting to know your supporters and their employers will help maximize your opportunities with matching gift programs. Don’t forget to honor your valuable and desperately finite time by building a solid compliance plan. Take a good-faith step toward relationship and fundraising success and invest in compliance.
Special thanks to Ify Aduba for this contribution!
Ify Aduba is a Nonprofit Compliance Specialist for Harbor Compliance, a leading provider of compliance solutions for organizations of all types and sizes. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Harbor Compliance partners with organizations in every state and over 25 countries abroad to help solve the most challenging compliance problems, fully managing government licensing compliance in both nonprofit and business sectors. Stay in touch with Ify and Harbor Compliance through Facebook and LinkedIn.
Most nonprofits are used to asking individuals for donations to support their run, walk, or ride fundraising events.
But asking businesses to sponsor those same events can be just as important! In fact, IEG, an organization that tracks corporate sponsorship of charitable causes, projects that total sponsorship spending by businesses in North America alone will reach $23.2 billion in 2017.
So how do you tap into that source of funds for your organization’s next event?
Check out some valuable tips and techniques that we’ve found work well for the nonprofits we’ve worked with over the years!
Who do you ask for a corporate sponsorship?
Approach the businesses in the immediate area of your event. They’re likely to see the value in sponsoring an event in their own community.
Search for lists of companies that donate to nonprofits. You might find one you haven’t thought of before.
Know your points of contact
In addition to working with the person who will sign the sponsorship agreement, ask to speak to someone about forming a team and getting more involved. Developing a relationship with both parties will ensure you get more out of the partnership and help the sponsor feel more involved.
Get human resources involved
Most organizations looking for corporate sponsors approach the marketing department of a business — but why not ask the human resources department?
Ask if they have a health initiative in place. If they do, asking them to form a team would be a great way for them to get involved. You can offer discount codes for employees, a designated meeting place on event day, volunteer opportunities, and/or other perks depending on the level of sponsorship.
How do you ask for a corporate sponsorship?
You can have a company sponsor just about anything — from the portable toilet area to your photo booth. Use aspects of your event that already exist, and turn them into sponsorship perks.
For larger events, know your worth
If you have an event with hundreds or thousands of people, make sure your levels are high enough (such as $1,000 and up). You don’t want to be so high that no one will want to sponsor, but by keeping levels elevated, sponsors will feel like this event is well-run, and that you have confidence in what you’re doing.
For smaller events, don’t leave money on the table
If you have a smaller event and have difficulty securing a large sponsorship, consider offering a lower sponsorship level with fewer perks. For instance, offer a $100 level, and several smaller businesses that were not interested in the larger sponsorship may be able to take part at that level within their budget.
Tell them a story
Explain to sponsors how their sponsorship/support can directly impact someone as part of your mission. For instance, $1,000 will help us do X for X number of people. Also, for your past sponsors, tell them how last year’s sponsorship was able to help your organization accomplish X.
Tailor your ask
Avoid using a one-size-fits-all ask for your potential sponsors. Customize each sponsorship for each company/business or person of contact. If there’s a natural fit between your organization’s mission and the company, use that to build your ask around.
Make them feel like you’re building a mutually-beneficial partnership toward a common good/mission, not just asking them for money.
Remember in-kind donations
If a business declines to offer a monetary sponsorship, ask for a non-monetary sponsorship such as coupons for free services on event day, or that a portion of their proceeds on event day to be donated back to the organization. A business in the area could also serve as a location for the kick-off party, packet pick up, or after-event party.
You can also reach out to companies to provide services you’ll need at the event, such as photography, DJ/entertainment, signage, food, portable toilets, and tent/chair rentals. The value of their goods or services can equate to a sponsorship level.
Find out what demographics a sponsor is targeting, and provide them with information about your event that would be relevant. For example, if a company tends to target women 50-60 years old, let the company know how many people or what percentage of participants attend your event that fall into this group.
Pay attention to your timing
The timing of your ask is important. A lot of larger companies earmark a specific amount of money each calendar year for charitable giving, so be sure to ask when is the best time for them to consider a sponsorship.
Oftentimes, you have to get your ask in very early to even be considered. Other times, you have to consider the business you’re reaching out to. For instance, if you’re reaching out to an accounting firm during tax season, you’re most likely not top-of-mind and your request may go unanswered.
Don’t give up
Always check back to ensure someone has received your call, email, letter, etc. If not, ask to speak to the best person at the company, and/or resend your ask to that person.
How do you work with a sponsor once they’ve signed up?
Treat them like participants
It may sound odd, but many sponsors will feel more engaged and like they’re getting more from their sponsorship if they hear from you more often. This doesn’t mean sending them an email every day, but rather treating them like you would a top fundraising team.
Use the same engagement tools and approaches you use with participants to connect with your sponsors. Offer them a free team captain registration, help them get their page set-up, and provide fundraising coaching. The more a sponsor fundraises and the larger their team, the more exposure they will get and will feel like they’re getting more out of the sponsorship.
Pay attention to the little things
Yes, big perks matter, but the little touch points make a big difference. Send a handwritten thank you or a note from a participant or beneficiary of your cause’s work. If the sponsor also fundraised, create a top fundraisers certificate that you send to them by mail.
These little touch points show that you acknowledge the importance of their support, yet they cost minimal amounts, demonstrating good stewardship in that you aren’t wasting the sponsor’s money.
Thank your sponsors publicly
Don’t underestimate how much companies and businesses like to see themselves online. Tag their company/business page on Facebook, and publicly thank them in a post. You can easily do the same on Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Most likely, the company will then re-post your original post to their full audience to help your event reach new constituents. You can also highlight your sponsors in an event program, marketing materials, and outreach (e.g., emails).
Securing corporate sponsorship may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Put these best practices to use for your next run, walk, or ride event, and corporate sponsorship will be within your reach.
Special thanks to Daniella, Laura, and Christina of Cathexis Partners for contributing the above advice! Cathexis Partners help nonprofits maximize technology for fundraising and supporter engagement.
Daniella Dowiak is an Account Manager who has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than seven years. With a deep understanding of nonprofits’ limited resources, she is passionate about helping organizations get the most out of their technology.
Laura L. Higgins is a Strategic Consultant who specializes in fundraising and community-building events, and has worked with nonprofits for more than 15 years in various roles including staff member, volunteer, and consultant.
Christina Relacion is an Account Manager who has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, website editing, video production, and social media. Before joining Cathexis Partners, she served as Communications Manager at the Scleroderma Foundation’s national office.
Does your nonprofit use DonorShops? Are you looking to incorporate Double the Donation’s matching gift information into your DonorShops donation pages?
If so then this guide is for you.
How does the integration work?
DonorShops will display a Double the Donation widget after a donation or purchase is completed, on the Thank You or Order Review page. This widget gives your donors the option to select their employer in order to help match their contribution.
DonorShops does not store any donor/employer matching data. All DonorShops does is display the widget powered by Double the Donation. You manage donation matching using the Double the Donation product.
How do I install Double the Donation into my DS site?
Before you get started, you’ll need the Embed Code from your Double the Donation account. Be sure to have that handy before you follow these steps.
Step #1: If you haven’t already, create a Thank You page for your One-Page Checkout donations. Go to Pages & Menus and create a new page. Be sure to select “Visibility: Hidden from Menu”. Edit the content of the page to be sure you communicate a thoughtful thank you message.
Step #2: Below your thank you message is where you’ll want to include the Double the Donation embed code. DO NOT TRY TO PASTE THE EMBED CODE DIRECTLY INTO THE TEXT BOX. That will not work. You need to paste in the embed code using the Code option in the text editor and paste the embed code there.
Step #3: Hit Save in the top right corner. After hitting save, you can click ‘View’ to preview the Thank You Page.
Step #4: Now you need to connect the Thank You Page with your One-Page Checkout forms. This option could differ depending on the theme you have installed. Typically, its under Site Design > Customize. Look for a setting called “One Page Checkout Thank You Page”. Select the Thank You page you just created, then hit Save in the top right corner.
Step #5: Done 🙂
Double the Donation Embed Notes: If you’re not sure how to access the Double the Donation Embed Code, please follow the below steps:
- Log into your Double the Donation account by going to https://doublethedonation.com/members/
- Choose the Embed Our Plugin Link
- Copy the Embed Code
Additional details are available at https://doublethedonation.com/blog/2015/02/matching-gift-plugin/
For Add-to-Cart Checkouts:
After a cart has been processed, the donor is automatically taken to the order review screen. That serves as the “Thank You” page for add-to-cart style donations and purchases. In order to connect Double the Donation to this page, you’ll need to update the advanced template for your Order Review screen. Be sure you have the proper permission levels before continuing.
- Go to Site Design > Advanced. Find the Order Review template and click the magnifying glass to modify it.
- Paste your code either at the very top or the very bottom of the code that you see on your screen. Pasting at the top will cause the Double the Donation widget to appear ABOVE the order review screen. Pasting at the bottom will cause it to appear BELOW the order review screen. You choose.
- Hit PUBLISH in the top right corner. The change you make here is more difficult to preview. You’ll need to find an existing order and click the “View Customer Receipt” option to view the order review screen changes in action.
- Done 🙂