10 Necessary Steps for Your Grateful Patient Program Checklist

10 Necessary Steps for Your Grateful Patient Program Checklist

February 8, 2019
Nandini Singh

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.

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