6 Beliefs That Will Revolutionize Your Healthcare Employee Giving Campaign

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We believe radical philanthropic movements begin from within.

Think about this: Your healthcare organization likely has tens of thousands of patients and their family members accessing treatment at your hospitals and clinics monthly, weekly or in some places even daily. There are numerous tried-and-true strategies for focusing your development efforts around prioritized calls, follow-ups and rounding on the prospective grateful patient donors based on the guidance on big data and wealth screening tools. This is all well and good and should be part of the mix of any modern healthcare fundraising shop. However, many organizations have tremendous untapped potential to build and leverage a grassroots movement to accomplish many of the same things via a culture of philanthropy. We aren’t talking some lip service ‘culture of philanthropy’ but rather a culture that deeply engages and activates your employees from their core values and personal passion and leverages them to further your philanthropic mission.

We believe in the power of employee giving.

More than any other sector within nonprofit - healthcare has an incredible opportunity to leverage it’s employee base through simply the sheer size of its organizational footprint. Imagine if even half of your employees became meaningfully engaged with philanthropy. How does that exponentially multiply the conversations happening daily across your organization about the impact of giving back? …how does it radically grow your ability to connect with prospective donors who visit within the walls of your organization?

To build a culture of philanthropy where employees are actively engaged - and not just passively making a gift - takes intentionality.

The Good Manifesto shares our ethos for running an employee giving campaign - a series of core beliefs that sets the tone for how your efforts can do more for your mission - by design. How do we know it’s true? Because we developed this methodology while transforming a culture of philanthropy at our own organization via an employee giving campaign - growing engagement ten-fold and activating thousands of donors and raising millions of dollars along the way. (We took a deep dive into our case study for employee giving growth at a recent AHP webinar.)

Make no mistake, these beliefs challenge the status quo of employee giving programs that have been set forth for decades. So the question is - will you join us and draw a line in the sand at your organization to take employee giving further? Choose to elevate your game, go bigger, deeper and with more intentionally? We assure you the payoff will be worth it.

 

CORE BELIEF #1

Play the long game.

Let’s get real. Most of your employees aren’t going anywhere (or at least statistically most of them aren’t!). Even though healthcare has recently tracked higher turnover rates - reaching 18.2% in 2017 - this still means 81.8% of your caregivers will still be with you by the next time your annual campaign rolls around! You don’t want to sell your mission short and lessen your ability to leverage your program as it grows and develops over the years ahead. This is the power of the long game. You must have belief that playing the long game - developing and cultivating a culture of philanthropy at your organization is a better plan than taking the easier path for the sake of one year’s participation. A culture of philanthropy doesn’t happen overnight - instead it is won through consistent action (hello donor relations), building trust through transparency (hello stewardship) and a robust, best-in-class donor experience (hello everything else!). Are you in for the long haul?

CORE BELIEF #2

Simplify, humanize + tell a great story.

Big healthcare organizations communications often become robotic and bureaucratic. The marketing materials can become laden with stock photos where names are changed to protect the innocent. Your employee giving campaign stands an opportunity to be the zig to that zag. Employee giving should be human and personal. Stock photography and blanket statements of impact have no home in your employee giving efforts - after all, more than any other prospective donor audience - your employees will know it’s not authentic. Share real stories. Heartbreaking sometimes. Knee-slapping funny sometimes. Show real employee's faces. And not just leaders either, but housekeepers, nurses and accounts payable folks too. Sharing real stories and faces of the people down the hall - it builds connection and sets your campaign apart from sterile business as usual. Also, by using authentic storytelling as the core of your campaign - you are laying the groundwork to ignite passion - setting the fire to cultivate belief in the cause.

CORE BELIEF #3

It’s not just about giving. It’s about belief.

Let’s not sell your campaign’s efforts short. Receiving any gift from an employee is important and speaks to their engagement on some level. The amount of the gift is symbolic and could be an indicator of the level of priority your organization holds in their personal philanthropy. However, the gift alone is not the end game. Receiving a gift allows us as fundraisers the sacred opportunity to give our employees a complete donor experience. Through the donor relations and stewardship experience your goal should be to give them belief in philanthropy at your organization. Does your campaign infrastructure support the narrative (and reality) that your donor’s gifts truly make a specific difference - one that can be seen, touched, felt and appreciated? Keep in mind - impact from an employee giving effort can literally take place within the halls of where your donors work everyday. When an employee believes in philanthropy - and feels great about their philanthropy - the game completely changes.

CORE BELIEF #4

Cultivate + mobilize rabid fans.

Campaigns aren’t about just raising money and growing participation (although let’s be clear - both matter)… but the bigger play is cultivating rabid fans. A rabid fan is one who believes in philanthropy at your organization and tells their friends, family and sphere of influence about their donor experience. A rabid fan might be the one who champions a crowdfunding effort on Facebook to bolster your campaign. Or a rabid fan might be the one who will share about philanthropy in their overflow of their daily interactions with patients when a piece of equipment or program they experience was funded via philanthropy. And therein lies the secret sauce to building a culture of philanthropy. A layered, deep belief of how philanthropy works and makes a difference at your organization. And the understanding of how to share and spread the giving opportunity with others. Rabid fans aren’t bought with cheesy transactional giving and tchotchke campaign gifts - instead it comes from a place of belief led by an incredible donor experience.
 

CORE BELIEF #5

Steward relentlessly.

Treat every employee donor as important. Your employees are not only personally and professionally invested - but now financially invested in your mission too. Communicate with them like insiders and keeping them on the forefront of their impact. When you are committed to showing how their gifts translate into meaningful, value-added impact - they will keep coming back to invest every year. The value you can provide can also come in the form of showing appreciation for their commitment. Don’t let a cheesy gift be the sole provision of stewardship - affirm their importance by thanking and recognizing that their gift matters. We've found another layer of activating a culture of philanthropy is by simply engaging your employees (whose programs are the beneficiaries of philanthropy) in the stewardship process. Whether that’s writing personal thank you notes to hosting impact preview events or just shooting a quick email to show appreciation - when gratitude comes from the frontlines of impact, it resonates a little deeper. When you have people engaged on every side of the giving, receiving and stewarding aspects of your campaign - your culture of philanthropy begins to take shape in deeper ways. When you think you've shown impact and said thank you enough - do it again. Fight to be top of mind to your investors/donors and your organization will be top of mind to them every year.

CORE BELIEF #6

Grow. Disrupt. Adapt. Repeat.

Standing still used to be just fine (but so did driving to Blockbuster to get a movie on Friday night) - but choosing to not evolve is certain fate. Always be on the forefront of growing and improving your outreach by adapting your tactics and deepening your volunteer relationships - never fearing to disrupt broken processes as you change. Healthcare is changing rapidly and the challenge of getting in front of and communicating (and winning the attention) of caregivers in many ways is harder than ever despite being more connected than ever. This belief is about choosing to reject your own status quo and instead innovating, improving and growing.

Have anything to add or want to jump in the conversation?  
We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.

Are you with us?

Join the movement.

Download The Good Manifesto as a printable PDF and hang it up as a reminder of what you’re fighting for to redefine employee giving at your organization.

If you want to dig deeper into how this campaign ethos sets the framework for a best-in-class employee giving campaign - explore our EGC Masterclass to learn more.

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Jonathan McCoy, CFRE is Director of Annual Giving at INTEGRIS Foundation and Founder and Chief Visionary of We are for Good. {Read more] [Email Jon]