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By DonorSearch

Grateful Patient Programs raise money from present and former hospital patients and aim to increase gifts from past donors. The goal of these programs is to identify high-quality fundraising prospects or donors and use proper fundraising strategies to bring in donations for the hospital.

These programs are designed to foster a culture of gratitude and raise money to support the many services that hospitals provide.

Patient prospecting is all about timing, and knowing who your current and most generous donors are.

TIMING

Each day, patients register and receive care from your organization. That means new potential prospects are coming through your doors, and are being added to your database. Timing is especially important, as patients are much more likely to donate closer to their discharge.

Healthcare organizations generally wait until after discharge to make a monetary ask, but building relationships with prospects should begin as soon as you’ve identified a patient as a major gift prospect.

Hospitals, therefore, have to be proactive about identifying prospects early.

KNOW YOUR EXISTING AND BIGGEST DONORS

Your current and most generous donors--who are most likely past patients who have expressed their gratitude through support before--are prospects with a built-in affinity for your organization. If you know who they are, and you have the ability to spot them when they are admitted for care, you have an important opportunity to deepen the special relationship--the care you take here will lead to additional and/or larger contributions.*

*Many hospitals have Patient Concierge programs whose staff pay special attention to the important prospects during their hospital stay, like putting them at the head of the line for tests, offering family members special places to wait, etc. Prospect Research can assist this effort by alerting Concierge staff to prospect admissions.

PROSPECTING BEST PRACTICE

SCHEDULE DAILY/REGULAR SCREENING OF PATIENT LISTS

The key to successful patient prospecting is to systematically unearth the information that points to the prospect’s capacity and inclination to donate. With more information in hand — data that’s detailed, accurate, and easily comprehensible — you can more effectively identify which patients to focus your program staff’s attention on.

The most efficient way to gather the wealth and charitable giving information is to schedule regular screenings of your patient lists. Daily Patient Screening helps you identify the best prospective donors at the perfect time to begin a relationship — while they are still in your facility or while their positive experiences are fresh in their minds and they feel grateful for the good care they’ve received from you.

Patients appreciate the extra attention and service from an organization, and you can start relationships with potential donors who are receptive to learning more about your organization.

As the most comprehensive Daily Patient Screening Service in the industry, DonorSearch can even help you formulate strategies by pinpointing who your donor knows, by way of our relationship mapping feature. Along with the wealth and charitable giving information on each potential prospect, we deliver detailed analytics--based on back testing of two million records representing $5 billion in giving--that can help you identify and qualify known philanthropists with a high degree of confidence.

FLAGGING KNOWN DONORS/VIPS

Provide your screening vendor with a list of your current/top donors, highly rated prospects, and key volunteers (like board members). With that in hand, your screening results can include a VIP ‘flag’ alerting you to their presence at your facility--this will give your fundraising and Concierge team the opportunity to give those patients extra attention.

FUNDRAISING/PROSPECTING BEST PRACTICE

SCHEDULE DAILY/REGULAR SCREENING OF PATIENT LISTS

Patient information must remain private, and there are limitations to the data that you can obtain and share.

Federal, state, and local laws govern patient privacy, and many hospitals have their own policies regarding the handling of patient information. Once you’re abreast of all privacy policies, create a plan to protect the information of both patients and their families.

For DonorSearch’s rigorous policy on the privacy and security of your data, request a copy of it here.

OVERALL BEST PRACTICE

REMEMBER YOUR PROSPECTS ARE PATIENTS FIRST
AND DONORS SECOND

Patients become donors because they want to recognize the staff and departments that gave special meaning to their care. All patients are people and want to be treated as such. If you provide the best possible care, a discussion about a donation can occur after discharge.

Patients donate for personal reasons and according to varying motivations. Your doctors and staff doing a good job will lead to donations, but don’t underestimate the wide array of other factors that could cause someone to donate. Cast a wide net when searching for donations.

You never know who might jump at the chance to support your mission.

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Gratitude to Great: Prospect Research for Grateful Patient Programs