Grateful Patient Philanthropy: Best Practices to Set Up Patient Screenings

grateful patient philanthropy

The core of successful grateful patient philanthropy is wealth screening. Before you set up your grateful patient program, it’s important to screen your patients, to see who is worth pursuing. By evaluating who has the greatest propensity and capacity to give, you can better focus your engagement. Let’s explore the best practices you can put in place to set up your grateful patient program screenings.

4 Essential Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Begin Screening Patients

Make sure that physicians and departments are receptive to your activities. Before screening patients, it’s important to ask yourself:

1. Have you received input or clarity from your leadership team?

While fundraising, it’s imperative to have a clear sense of your goals and priorities. This trickles down from members of your management team. Open communication on goals and messaging allows you to align the processes and procedures you implement later on.

2. Should you screen everyone for Grateful Patient Philanthropy?

Will you be screening all patients, departments, and hospitals? Or will you be screening specific hospital wings or individuals? Some health systems decide to exclude certain departments as they may not engage with them on a fundraising level. For example, you may not interact with Medicaid, hospice patients, or pediatric patients because they don’t have the highest propensity or capacity to give.

3. Have you been given approval by your General Counsel or legal team?

Along with your leadership team, your legal team should be clear on what all you’ll be capturing and using once you conduct your screenings. It’s important to clearly outline what data you can capture under HIPAA. Aside from HIPAA, your General Counsel may also institute their own measures to protect the privacy of patients. This will inform grateful patient philanthropy as you’ll understand how to engage your patients based on the information you have available to you.

4. Have you involved your IT staff in your patient screening process?

When initiating patient screenings, your IT staff should be involved from the very beginning. You can link your donor management system to your patient database so you can screen your patients easily and efficiently. It’s also important that they know what data you intend to capture and pull, as well as where you plan to store this information. By setting up automation through your database, you don’t have to submit screening files manually.

3 Data Elements to Acquire When You Set Up Your Patient Screening

There are three types of data that your team should acquire before you screen:

Demographic data: Demographic data is at the core of patient screenings, which will inform subsequent grateful patient philanthropy. To begin with, it’s important to compile basic information on your patients. This includes knowing their first name, last name, address, city, DOB, employer info, and employer category.

Activity data: Activity data will also inform grateful patient philanthropy. These data points include all actions taken by the individual patient. What was the date of their last visit? How many times, in total, have they visited this hospital? Where are their engagements happening, and with whom? By identifying people who have visited more, and are familiar with different aspects of your system, you’ll be able to assess who’s most likely to give.

Department data: Department data (as a subset of activity data) is a record of all actions taken within a department. Which department did the patient visit? Which physician did they see? What was the date of their last visit? How long have they been a patient of this physician? By understanding their relationship with the hospital, you’ll be able to engage with patients on a more relatable and applicable level.

On a very basic level, these data points help you identify which patients have the highest propensity and capacity to give. You have the means to identify patients with high P2G scores, across departments and physicians. All of this knowledge helps inform your fundraising strategy.

How Data Elements Inform Grateful Patient Philanthropy

So, if you see a large number of patients in a specific department, which has a limited number of gift officers assigned to it, it’s clear that there is an imbalance there. It’s important to concentrate your efforts in areas where there are patients who have high P2G scores.

For example, a WealthEngine client hadn’t realized that they needed to cultivate a stronger relationship with their urology department. After screening patients with department data, they realized that high capacity patients were in that space. The problem? No relationship had been cultivated there beforehand. Upon learning this, the fundraising team began managing and nurturing relationships with physicians in Urology.

Match Rates Between Hospital’s Database & WealthEngine’s

Generally, data accumulated for patient screenings has a slightly lower match rate than other types of screenings. If you’re screening alumni or donors, for example, there’s a lot more demographic and giving data available to you.  For patients, however, you have limited information you’re allowed to capture.

There’s a 70-80% match for patients in terms of basic demographic data. These match rates are considered high when it comes to Grateful Patient Program screening, which is only available through WealthEngine. Involving your IT system means that all the data syncs automatically. This way you don’t have to change any workflows.

Getting an API in place and coordinating with your team would allow them to operate more efficiently since they wouldn’t have to engage in any manual processes.

What to Do Post Patient Screening

It’s always important to sift back through unmatched records when are able to. There may be patients, hidden in your database, who at first glance, may not have the propensity or capacity to give. But, when you look again, these patients may have become more likely to give.

For example, a WealthEngine client searched back through their database only to find a pro-athlete who was a patient at the hospital. Since they had put down their business address, gift officers were not able to gauge the individual’s giving history.

Screen Patients for Your Grateful Patient Program

Upload a list of your patients to unearth and understand their capacity to give and spend. WealthEngine9 or WE9, our newest release, is transforming the prospecting landscape. Explore how our Engagement Science™ speeds up the way you screen, analyze, find insights, and predict outcomes through modeling.

Request Demo

Increase Grateful Patient Giving by Modeling Your Nightly Screenings

grateful patient program

Grateful patient giving has a little known secret that few healthcare organizations use: modeling. When you create a model of your past donors, you learn unique insights about the donor profile of your ideal grateful patient candidates.

You can then use your customized grateful patient giving model to score all future nightly screenings in a way that narrows your list of qualified prospects to the most likely donor candidates. This makes your grateful patient fundraising effort much more efficient while saving your team time and generating more revenue faster.

Grateful Patient Giving

Grateful patient giving has enabled health systems to raise $10 Billion according to the Journal of American Medicine. When a patient receives treatment and expresses immense gratitude, they may be a candidate for grateful patient fundraising. Past patients or patient families have a natural affinity for your hospital and are usually good prospects.

Your health system may have set up a nightly screening routine as part of your grateful patient fundraising program. Nightly screenings ensure that you continue to identify prospects when new patients come in.

These screenings also help keep your database up to date as customer net worth and lifestyle attributes change over time.

Grateful Patient Fundraising Using Screening

Regular screenings can serve as the foundation for your Grateful Patient Program. Nightly wealth screenings help ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities. They enable you to see a complete picture of a patient’s wealth, lifestyle and affinities.

For instance, WE Screen merges our proprietary wealth scores and ratings with your contact data. Now you know what we know about your contacts’ wealth, income, lifestyle, and affinity.

When you review and track data from your screenings regularly, you can act on it right away. For example, let’s say you had 10 new patients check in on a night. By the next day, you will already know which one of them is a candidate for grateful patient giving. You can ensure that you start to nurture the relationship right away.

One of our clients, a large American health system went from raising $19 million to $47 million in one fiscal year.

In fact, the VP of Philanthropy Services at this organization said, “…when a physician is referring a patient to us we can quickly get back to that physician to say that particular patient, that prospect now might have some capacity. Let’s figure out how to engage that person. With WealthEngine, with the ability of the gift officer to go directly to the website and receive these reports it reduces the time and it’s much more actionable for that gift officer in real time instead of waiting for the administrative staff to provide that report to them.”

A Grateful Patient Model Reveals Much More

Grateful patient screening is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to grateful patient giving. Subsequently, you can extract actionable insights from your screening data. What if you could find prospects that look like your best donors? You can accomplish this by learning from past successes in your grateful patient program.

Our client, a healthcare foundation has said, “We see the value of maximizing the screening data to help us focus on building the right relationships and make targeted asks throughout the year. We have created a development strategy to make that happen and are eager to get started.”

For instance, you can upload your data from screening directly into WE Analyze. The solution finds patterns of traits among your patients.  These are traits that your top donors have in common.

For example, you could find that most grateful patient fundraising has come from patients who live in a 50-mile radius of the hospital. Further,  donations could have come from parents of young patients. These patterns can then be fed into a data model.

The model will divide your database into segments based on the likelihood of grateful patient giving.

Use Insights from Your Models to Predict Giving

Patterns that are fed into the model can help you find more prospects like your top donors. This means you now have a data-driven way to predict grateful patient fundraising.

With over 20 analytical models, WealthEngine can model your grateful patient screening data to identify the best prospects for major gifts, annual gifts, planned giving and much more. Models can also help you craft a capital campaign to raise money for a new wing, building or program. Models that use machine learning and artificial intelligence, like the ones WealthEngine creates, take the guesswork out of finding more grateful patients, retaining existing donors and growing their commitment.

Another WealthEngine client, a health system based in North Carolina used their screening data to create a model for their major annual fundraising event. As a result, event proceeds went from $400,000 to $7.4 million. A grateful patient model can make your efforts more targeted and increase donor lifetime value.

WE Insights: Get a Free Sample of a Model of Your Data

WealthEngine has a free service for clients in which they can get a sample model on actual data. Here’s an example of some of the insights you can learn:

average donor profile

More so, you can use your model to personalize your message to your prospective donors. WealthEngine’s models reveal detailed information about your past donors so you can see how well new prospects fit with the profile of past donors.

major gift donor profile

Contact WealthEngine about WE Insights to see a profile of your nightly screening files.

Score New Contacts with Your Model Using an API for Instant Results

Screening is the first step of your Grateful Patient Program. Analyzing and modeling your screening data allows you to prospect with high predictability.

Predictive prospecting creates a profile from your existing patients’ demographic, lifestyle and interest related attributes. This information generated by a predictive model, helps you identify your next best prospects. Predictive prospecting allows you to have a more targeted approach. This means that you reduce conversion costs while increasing efficiency.

You can increase the efficiency of grateful patient fundraising through API implementation. WealthEngine’s API can seamlessly integrate into your existing CRM and provide you updates in real-time.

Our client, a $6 Billion health system has said, “We built an integration with WealthEngine’s API. We have really got an automated process where our daily census can be screened, can be both matched and screened virtually automatically with very little intervention from us.”

Learn How to Model Your Screening Data

Learn more about how your nightly screening data could help you increase conversions and lower costs. Model your data now.

More ways to maximize your Grateful Patient Program

Grateful Patient Program Checklist

Healthcare Fundraising: Boost Grateful Patient Programs with the P2G Score

10 Necessary Steps for Your Grateful Patient Program Checklist

grateful patient program checklist

What separates an average grateful patient program from a successful one? Aside from prioritizing gratitude, and leveraging wealth insights, it’s integral to follow certain steps to propel your program to great heights. Add these 10 steps to your grateful patient program checklist:

1. Engage Your C-Suite

Before setting up your program, it’s important to communicate openly with your CEO and CMO. Your C-Suite can help chart the course of your program.  During this time, they can also introduce you to the doctors and nurses you’ll potentially be working with.

Remember: Fundraising is the process, not the product. These programs help fund labs, buy equipment, and much more.  By having your C-Suite share the benefits of the grateful patient program with your healthcare practitioners, providers will slowly but surely trust and understand your motivations, and will be more open to working with you.

2. Identify Which Physicians to Involve in Your Program

Once you’ve engaged your C-Suite, it’s time to start meeting your physicians. If you’ve got two gift officers, identify 20-30 clinicians. Then, you and your CEO can host an event to speak with the doctors and nurses you’ll be working with.

Transparency and connection are essential in establishing your program. You should not only involve clinicians you believe will be helpful in your efforts, but also forge authentic connections with them. Since clinicians have formed relationships with their patients, they know which patients are grateful for the treatment they’ve received. However, clinicians may feel that much more apprehensive sharing what they know. If you’re extrinsically motivated in your efforts, they will feel less inclined to help. Their patients come first. So, in these meetings, it’s important to openly involve them in the process, and ask them:

  • What’s the most comfortable way for you to identify a grateful patient?
  • What’s the most comfortable way you introduce the rehabilitation?
  • How do you want to be involved in this philanthropic process, that will be most comfortable for you? 

3. Train Physicians

Training your physicians in philanthropic giving is another form of transparency that will transform the culture of your healthcare institution. Since clinicians are well-versed in medical practice, introducing them to uncharted territory can feel overwhelming. To alleviate their concerns, training clinicians can provide them with a greater understanding of how a grateful patient program works, their role within it, and your intent in establishing one. Clinicians are then able to forge their own relationship with the program and determine how they will approach it based on their comfort level.

4. Collaborate With Physicians To Identify Potential Benefactors

Once your physicians have been trained, and have familiarized themselves with the program, begin collaborating with them to determine who you can reach out to. By having physicians take the lead, they will be able to help you identify benefactors who are grateful for what they received and would be more inclined to give back to the hospital, and the physicians, that treated them. This is where gratitude and wealth intersect. Engaging in this open dialogue with your physicians provides you with a specific list of potential donors, that can be distilled into an even smaller group of potential benefactors, using wealth insights

5. Conduct Patient Screenings

It’s important to understand the grateful patients you intend to engage with. A holistic image of your patients includes your understanding of their wealth, demographics, lifestyle and affinities. This is where wealth screening, comes in. Using wealth screenings, WealthEngine can show you each person’s propensity and capacity to donate. We can provide you with insights into the interests and prior giving history of your potential donors. This knowledge will inform your fundraising strategy at large. 

Not only are you identifying which patients are worth pursuing, but you’re also able to narrow your efforts. Finding out which patients have the greatest propensity and capacity to give allows you to focus your outreach, and understand your patients’ specific needs and interests. And, by conducting screenings regularly, you have the opportunity to sift back through unmatched records. This gives you the opportunity to identify any inaccuracies attributed to any donors hidden in your database. 

6. Use Wealth Insights to Segment Patients Selected

Once you have screened your grateful patient donor base, it is important to understand what they have in common. So, you can use automated data analytics to help you identify patients and relatives of patients who can be benefactors. How? Insights create an overview of your donor base by showing you what your grateful patients have in common. When you identify these commonalities, you can look for the same traits in new patients. Therefore, you have a ready-made system for filtering and identifying which new patients will be great additions to your grateful patient program. 

This can also help you determine major gift prospects who can give support the bulk of your efforts, and who may support grateful patient programs established in the future. So, instead of reaching out to every patient, you can hone in on those who may feel the most willing to give.

7. Evaluate Which Departments or Wings Need More Fundraisers

Not only is it important to identify which patients to reach out to, but it’s also necessary to identify which department or wing they’re in. If many of the patients screened, from a specific wing, have a high propensity and capacity to give, but that department doesn’t have enough fundraising officers, it’s important to focus more efforts there. The more you concentrate your fundraising efforts in those specific areas, the more likely you are to convert grateful patients into donors. 

Make sure the patients you’re screening are from departments that are actually included in your health system, on a fundraising level. For example, although you may interact with Medicaid, hospice, or pediatric patients, they may not have the highest propensity or capacity to give.

8. Reach Out in a Way that Evokes a Response

The next step in your grateful patient program checklist is to reach out! Now that you’ve been able to gain your physician’s consent, and have done your own research on each patient, it’s important to communicate with them about their ability to donate. Remember to communicate gratitude, and express how central gratitude has been in the formation of your program. You are not reaching out to former patients and their families to fundraise. You reach out to them because the care they received, with their help, can be felt by someone else in the future.

Screening and actionable insights can help you craft messages that are most likely to resonate with your grateful patients. You can also personalize the medium/method you use to reach out to patients based on their preferences. For instance, some patients might respond well to direct mail, yet others may be more motivated by a call from their practitioner.

9. Create Successful Events Based On The Overlapping Interests of Grateful Patients

Not only is it important to gather insights on patients individually, but it’s also necessary to identify their overlapping interests. By doing this, you’re engaging grateful patients and benefactors in ways that are relevant and valuable to them. What events would they like to attend in the future? Is this an event that would interest them? Have they attended events like this before?

The more relevant subsequent events are, the more likely patients and benefactors are to engage and give. By creating opportunities to meet them in person, you’re able to cultivate and nurture these relationships in ways that are more personal. Additionally, you are able to express your gratitude and assess how they would like to stay involved as time goes on. 

10. Track and Analyze the Success of Your Campaigns

The final step on your grateful patient program checklist is to assess the success of your campaigns. This can be done using analytics. Once you’ve reached out to your grateful patients who have the greatest propensity and capacity to give, it’s important to track the success of your campaign by analyzing online donor activity. Who, out of your grateful patients and benefactors, have signed up for your mailing list? Which grateful patients or benefactors RSVP’d for your events? Which grateful patients ended up attending? And who contributed gifts to your campaign? 

All of this information can help you understand how to approach your future campaigns. You can identify which messages, mediums, and events prospects responded too, and adjust accordingly. All of these modifications will help you to engage prospects in ways that are more applicable, relevant, and subsequently, effective.   

Use Wealth Insights and Screen Patients for Your Grateful Patient Program

Upload a list of your patients to unearth and understand their propensity and capacity to give. WealthEngine9 or WE9, our newest release, is transforming the prospecting landscape. Explore our Engagement Science speeds up the way you screen, analyze, find insights, and predict outcomes through modeling.

Request Demo

Successful Grateful Patient Programs – Steps to Get a 20x ROI in 3 Years

Successful grateful patient programs can generate 20x their cost within 3 years. That’s a stellar investment.

Follow these 4 steps to set up a group from your healthcare organization. Also, listen to our podcast with Chad Gobel, CEO of the Gobel Group. Chad is an industry expert on successful grateful patient programs and shares a complete step-by-step process. 

Continue reading “Successful Grateful Patient Programs – Steps to Get a 20x ROI in 3 Years”

Healthcare Fundraising: Boost Grateful Patient Programs with the P2G Score


Healthcare fundraising success often relies upon running efficient Grateful Patient Programs. WealthEngine’s P2G score plays a key role in healthcare fundraising.

For instance, we talked to a large Midwestern Health System that was already using a different wealth screening provider. The other solution, however, failed to identify a significant number of patients as major gifts prospects.

Continue reading “Healthcare Fundraising: Boost Grateful Patient Programs with the P2G Score”