AI Insights for Health and Hope – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation Case Study

Client: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation

Industry: Healthcare

Challenges

  • Outdated CRM containing incomplete, static donor data
  • Limited staff capacity for stewarding and upgrading annual donors
  • Untapped potential in donor qualification and grateful patient fundraising

Results

  • Streamlined outreach based on accurate, dynamic prospect modeling
  • Time-saving prioritization in annual donor cultivation
  • Comprehensive identification of qualified major giving and grateful patient donor prospects

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation is the charitable giving arm of one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the United States (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, or CHOA). For more than 100 years, CHOA’s mission has been “Making kids better today and healthier tomorrow.” The organization manages more than a million patient visits per year, and many of its specialty programs are nationally ranked.

The CHOA Foundation started working with DonorSearch in 2024, and their team has particularly benefited from leveraging DonorSearch Ai in their fundraising efforts. The AI-driven insights they’ve gained have allowed them to find more qualified donors for their large-scale campaigns and initiatives while saving time on outreach.

Of the CHOA Foundation’s more than 80 staff members, 21 are frontline fundraisers who work on cultivating major donors, growing the organization’s annual giving program, managing its grateful patient fundraising initiative, and more. Since CHOA receives gifts from tens of thousands of donors per year, donor qualification is extremely important for ensuring their team members use their time efficiently for outreach and relationship-building.

Before the CHOA Foundation started leveraging DSAi, their team’s efforts were limited by an outdated CRM and incomplete donor data. As they neared the end of a challenging campaign in 2022, they knew they needed to make a change.

“The timing was prime to think outside the box of what we had been doing up to this point,” said C.J. Drymon, the CHOA Foundation’s Prospect Research and Analytics Team Manager. She recalled hearing a presentation on AI fundraising at an APRA Conference and thinking, “I knew then [that] this was the future. So, here we are today—[very happy users] of DonorSearch Ai.”

DSAi has provided the CHOA foundation with detailed, previously untapped insights into potential major, annual, and grateful patient donors’ giving likelihood. Through this, they’ve been able to identify prime prospects they might have otherwise overlooked and focus on quality over quantity in their outreach. “The best prospects are getting multiple contacts from gift officers and therefore yielding a higher contact rate. Now, our gift officers are working smarter, not harder,” Drymon explained.

  • Up-to-date, dynamic modeling. Prior to implementing DSAi, the CHOA Foundation had not significantly updated their CRM in six years. DSAi provided the responsiveness they needed to stay on top of shifts in prospects’ giving potential. Drymon said, “The biggest benefit we see is that DonorSearch Ai will continually re-score every individual, with each upload, providing constantly updated insights into their current likelihood of giving. This freshness of information and data ensures ever-increasing accuracy in our prospect identification work.”
  • More robust qualification capabilities. Senior Prospect Research Analyst Richaun Jeffers explained that one of her major responsibilities is to assign high-quality prospects to other fundraisers’ qualification portfolios to begin the acquisition process, a job that DSAi has revolutionized. “The DSAi scoring of our database…has provided us with a sense of untapped potential. To that end, we are working on building a qualification pool that gift officers can access anytime to self-select prospects to add to their qualification portfolios,” he said.
  • Annual donor stewardship and upgrades. CHOA relies on annual gifts to fund many aspects of patient care. Since the number of annual contributions between $1,000 and $10,000 (which the organization considers mid-level gifts) has been increasing, the team has been working on reaching out to those donors individually with the goal of moving them up to the major giving level. But as Drymon stated, “Currently the Annual Giving team is a staff of two, so DonorSearch Ai is instrumental in helping my team prioritize who to assign to them that could provide the best outcome.”
  • Expanded grateful patient fundraising. “One of the most exciting benefits of launching DSAi is that we now have access to predictive modeling of all patient families who have had a clinical experience with us in the last five years. Because of our outdated CRM, this [was] not an option due to its limitations,” Jeffers said. As a result, the team has created a brand-new list of patient families with a major giving capacity of $5 million or more and established a new Office of Transformational Giving to strategically approach these prospects.

Access trusted, comprehensive AI insights to revolutionize your organization’s fundraising efforts. Demo DonorSearch today!

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