In our last post, Planning a Grateful Patient Fundraising Initiative?, we discussed many of the possible goals and objectives of a GPP.  Today, we’ll talk about the screening process, and some of the decisions you will need to make as you prepare for a daily, monthly or quarterly screening process.

What is your primary goal, and what is the best method for accomplishing the goal? 

If your primary goal is to identify major gift prospects, donors or VIPs, will you initiate actions to affect their experience of your facilities or services?  If so, daily screening is the best method to accomplish your purpose.  If you plan to initiate major gift cultivation activities or initiate grateful patient appeals shortly after discharge, then a daily or monthly process may be appropriate.

If your intent is to use mail, telephone, email or other annual giving outreach, you may want to consider either a monthly or quarterly screening process to start.

What criteria will you use to select a list to submit for screening?

If you are interested in knowing who your client is today, you might consider pulling a list of new admits.  If you are interested in screening your recent patients, you can consider pulling a list of discharges. The benefit of looking at the discharges is that those with negative outcomes may be excluded. 

No matter what list you select, you may also want to consider excluding certain demographic segments from the pre-screened submission list.  Some organizations will exclude:

  • Medicaid
  • Self-pay
  • Behavioral health clients
  • Pediatrics
  • Young adults
  • Certain demographic regions, by zip code or zip plus four
  • Those who have opted-out of fundraising communications under HIPAA guidelines must be excluded

What criteria will we use to identify the subjects of our activities?

When you have decided on your primary goal, the best method to achieve the goal, and the input file criteria, it is time to consider what criteria you will use to determine which actions to apply to specific screened segments. 

If you are screening to identify new major gift prospects, what specific attributes describe a major gift prospect for your institution?  Some organizations consider:

  • a specific, minimum estimated giving capacity
  • a particular propensity to give (P2G) score
  • assets over a certain level
  • affinity or connection factors such as number of hospital visits in a set period of time, or number of family members treated

Once you have decided what factors to consider, it will be easy to segment your file into those who meet the minimum requirement(s) and those who don’t.  In instances where you are segmenting for the ultimate purpose of major gift cultivation, a quick data/record validation process is recommended.  For each record or individual who will be the subject of specific, personalized actions, answer these questions:  Is this data matched correctly to my prospect?  Does s/he appear to be a good major gift prospect?  If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then you will be reasonably confident that following through with your planned actions steps will not be a waste of effort or resources.

If you are screening to segment a list for mailing or other grateful patient outreach, will you mail to all constituents, regardless of capacity, propensity, or affinity?  Many organizations mail only to the segments that have some identified capacity and propensity to give.  This decision will depend on your budget and other resources, as well as your stated goals.  It is easy to test the response to a direct mail appeal, so you may want to mail to the entire group the first time, and calculate your response rate, cost to raise a dollar (CRD) and return on Investment (ROI) for individual segments.  This will give you important and quantifiable feedback to enable you to maximize your returns for future grateful patient outreach.

As you can see, there are many considerations involved in setting up a grateful patient program.  In Part One, we identified some of the goals organizations have in creating a GPP fundraising initiative.  In this post, we looked at questions related to the process of achieving those goals, and provided background to help you work through the decision making process.  In Part Three, we’ll talk about the actions you must undertake to follow through on your process and achieve quantifiable results.

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