About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System is part of the Trinity Health network. Trinity Health has been at the forefront of enacting meaningful health care reform since 2006.


“We rely heavily on prospect research in all that we do,” says Tony Englert, vice president development & external affairs at Loyola University Health System. “We began applying prospect research to our fundraising efforts about 10 years ago and have been increasingly committed to a systematic strategy throughout the years. In fact, our proactive prospect research strategy feeds into all of our fundraising activities, delivering strong results dramatically increasing giving to Loyola.”

Explains Englert, “While we were in a campaign for some of those ‘boom’ years, our prospect research strategy was developed to support long-term major gift growth. For example, prior to the campaign, our board was more operational and had not necessarily focused on fundraising. However, we used prospect research to review our board for gift capacity and then created a subcommittee of strong donor candidates. As well, we created a President’s Council of non-board members focused on development. The first time the health system board was asked to give was in 2007 during the silent phase of the campaign.

Patient Screening Strategy

Another contributor to the proactive strategy is the active recruitment of grateful patients as donors. Loyola’s routine screening mix ensures that no opportunity is missed to connect with a major gift prospect while they are on public census (onsite) and that patients are segmented and targeted for the right fundraising initiative within the best timeframe—30-60 days after receiving care. Loyola’s program follows:

  • Daily inpatient review—40-50 patients are identified daily for immediate contact. On average, 52% of those screened with a capacity of $100,000 or higher are still on public census, creating opportunity for development staff to connect.with potential donors.
  • Monthly inpatient and outpatient review—approximately 7,000 individuals are screened each month. Staff follow-up is done via telephone or direct mail, depending on gift capacity. A shift in screening vendors and use of WealthEngine analytics for direct mail appeals has resulted in a 24% increase in the number of gifts and a 30% increase in average gift amounts in the first three quarters of 2010 compared to 2009 giving.
  • Occasional groups—smaller groups, such as the school of medicine alumni, are screened for special events, annual fund and other targeted projects.

“Much of our excitement moving forward has to do with the potential ahead of us,” says Englert. Loyola has established the groundwork through regular screening and have enough metrics in place to forecast. All indicators show that they are on an upward path to attain higher levels of success with our grateful patient program.

Donor Management System Integration

Loyola uses BSR Advance as its donor management system (DMS). To ensure that key prospect data is captured and available to the development team, Loyola follows the following process:

  • First, patient data is sent to WealthEngine daily . The results are returned to a research analyst prior to arrival for work. The analyst reviews and validates the findings, circulating the prospects to the development team by mid-morning.
  • Validation involves identifying anyone with a $250,000 or higher gift capacity. The analyst compares real estate to tax accessor records, reviews WealthEngine’s data from MarketGuide, D&B and other key databases. “At first, we looked at anyone with a $100,000+ gift capacity, but found the volume too high for timely action so we adjusted the capacity level to better fit our workflow,” explains the analyst.
  • The data is then de-duped with Loyola’s “match report;” a turnkey report that flags any new patient who is already a possible match in the database. If they are a match, the patient record is linked to the database. No patient records are kept in Loyola’s DMS BSR Advance database.
  • A report for development officers is produced for the designated prospect manager.

Prospect Cultivation

A staff member may visit the patient if they are still onsite, and then follows up with a note or phone call. She qualifies each prospect and the prospect is transitioned to a major gift officer.

“Of the 172 that were visited within the last nine months, six have been transitioned to major gift officers as having a strong likelihood to give,” explains Englert. “Remember, these are brand new prospects with a capacity of $250,000 or higher— so the return on investment from just one gift is significant.”

Englert summarizes, “Giving from individuals represents roughly 65% of our overall fundraising (from both the medical school alumni and patients). Forty percent of the overall dollars raised ($16.7M in 2009) comes from our friends of the health system—patients, family members of patients and the community. It all boils down to the importance of screening in terms of expediency. Everyone knows that gratitude decreases with time; we have instituted a proactive strategy for moving on the data in a timely and integrated manner.

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