About Barnabas Health Care System

Barnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest integrated health care delivery system, providing treatment and services to more than two million patients each year. 


Fundraising for any nonprofit organization comes with a common set of challenges. But those faced by Laura R. Tenenbaum are pretty unique since she supports eight foundations at once.

Tenenbaum is Director of Planned Giving and Program Development at Saint Barnabas Health Care System, “New Jersey’s largest integrated health care delivery system.” She has been using WealthEngine services successfully for three years to support SBHCS’s six medical center foundations, plus two others. 

Tenenbaum faces special challenges in her position. First, she works with each of the eight foundations when, and if, they request her services. She explains, “I’m more like a consultant than anything else. I must be brought in by each foundation’s vice president.”

So, when Tenenbaum began her search for a prospect research tool in 2005, she needed to find a product for which she could gain consensus from all those foundations and vice presidents involved. There, of course, was also the need for a reasonable price and the new tool needed to work well with SBHCS’s donor management system, Raiser’s Edge. With its competitive pricing structure and ability to integrate with Raiser’s Edge, WealthEngine was ultimately selected by the group.

Time is another challenge for Tenenbaum particularly since hers is divided among these various foundations. She certainly does not have time to research more than a fraction of the patients who are admitted to the hospital system. Here's how Tenenbaum uses WealthEngine's products and features to target her fundraising efforts:

Routine Screening with WebExpress

On a monthly basis, SBHCS submits the previous month’s patient records to WealthEngine for screening. With the help of WealthEngine’s Propensity to Give (P2G) score, Tenenbaum can more effectively develop a targeted solicitation approach for a smaller group of more qualified prospects. After monthly screenings of discharged patients, Tenenbaum focuses efforts on patients with a P2G rating of “1” as well as patients with apparent connections to members of a foundation’s Inner Circle. This approach enables Laura to reduce a pool of 9,000+ patients a month to a more manageable group of 100-150 qualified prospects.

Segment Best Prospects

Tenenbaum’s tactic for approaching qualified prospects starts with a one-page letter that she writes. The letter goes out under the appropriate vice president’s signature, focuses on the fact that the medical center is a community hospital, and includes an overview of the hospital system’s accomplishments over the past year. Enclosed in each letter is a four-color publication that Tenenbaum prepares which highlights successes of the organization and its medical team, describes what the foundation does, and details ways that friends are helping the foundation.

This initial letter goes out about a month after the patient’s discharge. Five weeks later, an actual solicitation follows. Our research has shown that contacting the patient within three months of discharge improves the likelihood of receiving a gift.

Inner Circle Targeting

Prospect research can also help healthcare organizations establish or build up their grateful patient programs while honoring HIPAA regulations. The Diplomat Program is an example of how SBHCS is using WealthEngine’s Inner Circle feature to cater to patients and donors, while still remaining HIPAA compliant. The new Diplomat Program initiative, launched by the Monmouth Medical Center Foundation, a member of the SBHC system, was developed to target major and long-time donors as well as members of the Foundation’s Inner Circle.

Patients with connections to the Foundation’s Inner Circle are sent a highly personalized thank-you letter and are then invited to notify the Diplomat Program manager whenever they might be seeking medical care in the hospital system. The Diplomat Program manager helps ease the patient’s stay in the medical center and can make arrangements for the comfort of family members – little, non-medical touches that often make a stressful time easier for a patient prospect.

Tenenbaum summarizes, “The Inner Circle is a great service that WealthEngine offers. It gives us a reason to contact an individual.” Monmouth also uses a donor alert system to identify donors when they are admitted to the facility.

Organizations that put prospect research to use strategically, as does Saint Barnabas, can make great strides at developing their grateful patient programs. 

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