3 Strategies For Elevating Your Grateful Patient Program

Earlier this month, iWave announced it’s new grateful patient program and patient screening feature. With iWave, a grateful patient program will benefit from billions of data points and the industry’s most-user friendly platform. Combined with iWave’s one-of-a-kind wealth screening, healthcare organizations are able to make more targeted and educated major gift asks.

For those not aware of exactly what a grateful patient program is, we can help. A grateful patient program is the systems and processes a healthcare organization puts in place to help identify potential donors from a patient database and then moving them through the major gifts funnel. Patient screening is an important component of a grateful patient program. This involves performing wealth screenings, using a service such as iWave, on current and former patients to monitor for philanthropic and wealth indicators.

A grateful patient program is the perfect opportunity to work with current or past patients to determine if a fit exists between their giving behaviour and your organization’s mission.

To ensure your grateful patient program is successful, three things need to happen.

  • Ensure your wealth screening technology has the ability to grow and customize itself to your organization
  • Determine the ideal patient, including how often they donate, how much they have to give, and where their affinity or linkage lies
  • Have the ability to monitor and measure your grateful patient program, as well as ensure the ability to segment and sort your prospective and current patient donors

With the components of a successful grateful patient program in place, it’s time to get concrete with strategies. Regardless if you’re a grateful patient program expert or looking to get your program off the ground, or simply want to read some best practices, we have you covered.

1. Build Your Patient Screening to Your Nonprofit Organization

Before lifting a finger with a grateful patient program, ensure your organization’s patient screening processes are ready. Because you’ll be screening patients at various time intervals, be sure your wealth screening tool allows for quick-turnaround. The last thing your nonprofit organization needs is a 14-day delay to receive wealth screening records when you’re trying to conduct learn more about patients in your hospital for only 72 hours.

And just as quick results are important, the ability to customize wealth or patient screening to your nonprofit’s goals is essential. For example, a research hospital may focus more on a prospective donor’s capacity while a community clinic could look at their affinity. Likewise, the research hospital may feel a major gift is anything over $150,000 while the community clinic would feel anything over $10,000 is a major gift! Regardless of how you define a major gift, a wealth screening tool needs the ability to adjust to the organization using it.

2. Determine Your Ideal Patient Donor

Even after your organization’s wealth screening strategy is set, the work is not over! It’s now time to get creative when looking for donors. Yes, the basis of a grateful patient program is to find prospective donors within your hospital’s current or past patients. However, do you know the best route for finding which patients you should be asking?

Every healthcare organization, big or small, thinks they want to solicit and convert high-net-worth patients. Think of this though; what if your high-net-worth patients have never donated a single dollar in their life? Do you think they will magically start donating to your hospital? Probably not! To avoid this potential pitfall, start looking at a prospect’s past giving behaviour. This will ensure the individuals you do ask have both capacity to give as well as history of giving. Enter the importance of internal and external giving. These two components are perhaps the two most important aspects of donor analytics.

Internal Giving

Internal giving uses a recency-frequency-monetary (RFM) method to determine the current relationship you have with your prospect based on giving data to your organization. Within your donor database, compile a list of donors including the following information: total gift count, total gift amount, and last gift date. Using this information which is organization-specific, you’re able to easily measure and compare donor scores. The RFM score is a powerful component to understanding both your current and prospective donors.

External Giving

For external giving, the process is slightly different. Rather than looking internally, take your donors and filter them externally against billions points of wealth, biographic, and philanthropic records. With iWave Screening, for example, this would result in each prospect receiving an iWave Score. The score factors in propensity, affinity, and capacity and provides a custom score specific to your organization for each individual prospect. The iWave Score provides valuable donor insights that you may not find with an RFM score.

Combining The Two

Once you have an internal and external score, combine them! By cross-referencing both internal and external scores, your nonprofit organization is able to identify the major gift prospects with the best fit. Equipped with this specific and customized information, you can act on these opportunities faster and with increased confidence. iWave Screening is able to cross-reference prospects internally, with an RFM score, and externally with an iWave Score, at the same time. This will allow healthcare organizations of any size to develop a deeper understanding of their current and past patients.

With these tools in hand, it is easy to make progress with your grateful patient program. As patients move through your healthcare organization, you’re able to monitor their giving potential as a donor, specific to your assigned parameters. This is a great reminder to review your nonprofit organization’s moves management program and adjust as necessary.

3. Measure the Program’s Effectiveness and Adapt if Necessary.

Now that you understand the importance of a grateful patient program, it’s time to let it run! Over the next days, weeks, and months, it’s important to analyze and review the results of your wealth screening. This includes both the successes and failures. Take this time to look for trends. Whether it’s inconsistencies in gift asks, consistently missing data in profiles, or even trouble understanding the results, it’s important to know where gaps with information exist.

If your nonprofit organization is continually making unsuccessful gift asks, your patient screening parameters may need adjustment in order to reflect your patient base. This is done by calibrating both your internal and external giving scores to ensure they align better with your patients and their past giving history.

Of the same ilk, if your organization cannot even find enough relevant data to create accurate prospect profiles, there is a problem. To remedy this, be sure you’re pulling from the best possible data when completing wealth screens and building profiles. Remember – just because a vendor says they have trillions of data points, it doesn’t mean it’s of any quality.

It’s now time to pass your validated screening results to your fundraising team. Better yet, use the power of a tool like Gravyty. Powered by artificial intelligence, Gravyty’s flagship tool First Draft proactively recommends which donors and prospects to reach out to, the best time to reach them, and the best next step to take.

Lastly – always remember the power of donor segmentation. For example, when putting together a puzzle, it’s wise to sort the pieces by colour. The same principle applies to your database. With iWave Screening, it’s easier than ever to segment your current and prospective donors based on their internal and external scores. Whether it’s 50 names or 50,000, a strategically sorted database will enable your healthcare organization to make gift asks to patients with expert precision.

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About the author: Patrick Bryden is iWave’s Marketing Manager.  From creating pitch decks for Nike and Mattel to starting his own water bottle company, Patrick brings over five years of marketing experience to iWave. With a strong interest in creative problem solving and finding efficiencies in everyday processes, Patrick’s never met a challenge he hasn’t liked.

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