Looking to create a grateful patient program for your hospital? There are some key facts you need to know before you get started. Whether you’ve heard of this resource before or are exploring new fundraising options, our team at iWave is here to help you.

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What’s a Grateful Patient?

Before crafting your grateful patient program, it’s important to understand what a grateful patient is and how you can turn current patients into a core part of this resource.

For starters, grateful patients are people who have visited your healthcare center and had a great experience. Maybe your doctors helped save their life or you provided them with the personalized experience they needed to feel confident and secure. No matter the reason for their gratitude, they can thank you for helping them by supporting your program.

In order to provide your organization with a gift, these former patients need to have the ability to donate to your cause. By looking at different factors, you can decide if a former patient would have the capabilities to make a donation to your hospital.

You can also identify potential grateful patients as they walk in the door, ensuring a member of your team introduces themselves right away. Starting off on the right foot is crucial to securing grateful patients later on.

Why Create a Grateful Patient Program?

There are many ways to fundraise in healthcare philanthropy, but a grateful patient program can be one of the most important. The biggest supporters of your cause are those who have seen how you enact change firsthand.

Patients who have had a positive or life-changing experience at your center want to help you provide that same care to other patients. By creating a grateful patient program, you’re able to help them give back to you.

People are also most likely to support causes that resonate with them. You could spend time searching for potential donors who have provided gifts to healthcare organizations in the past and ask them to support your cause as well. You can save time and resources by contacting those who you know have a strong affinity for your specific nonprofit.

Grateful Patients and Their Role in Capital Campaigns

Having a grateful patient program on hand means you’ll easily be able to fundraise when it comes time. For example, if you’re planning to launch a capital campaign to build a new wing in your hospital, you’ll be able to reach for your grateful patient list and find the support your cause calls for.

Capital campaigns rely heavily on fundraising during the private phase with 50% to 70% of total gifts being given at this time.  It’s crucial to have a successful private funding campaign and a large part of that is knowing who to reach out to. Your grateful patient program is a great place to start.

How to Create a Grateful Patient Program: Step by Step

Think your organization would benefit from a grateful patient program? Then, there are some crucial steps you should take to make sure your program is as successful as possible.

Assemble a Team

You want to make sure every member of your organization is aware that a grateful patient program exists, this way you can make sure every potential donor is forging a personal connection with your team. Additionally, you need to identify an administrator or board member who is responsible for personally contacting any potential members of this program.

If someone walks through your door who may make a good fit for your grateful patient program, you’ll want this team member to visit them during their stay to make sure they’re having a positive experience. If there isn’t a good opportunity to visit them while at your facility, make sure they follow up with a phone call and/or satisfaction survey.

Research has found that people are more likely to support your cause when contacted within 30 to 60 days after leaving your company, so a follow-up call is crucial!

Define Your Goals

Are you asking for gifts to fund new equipment for your cancer wing, or are you looking to hire a new staff member? It’s important to clearly define your fundraising goals to ensue you’re staying on track. Make sure your entire team is aware of your mission as well, so you are all working together towards the same end goal.

Uncover the Right Donors

The biggest part of your grateful patient program is making sure you have the right people in the program. Identifying these donors means considering a range of factors. To start, a former patient needs to have the ability to give. Examining public financial records can help paint a clear picture of a potential donor’s propensity to support your cause.

As mentioned before, an inclination to donate is also important. If one of your former patients is known for being very chartable and has a history of giving to various organizations, especially those similar to yours, they are more likely to provide a gift towards your cause as well.

If you think this seems like a lot of data to comb through, it’s because it is! There’s no need to worry though. There are programs that can help you scan this information faster. By investing in fundraising software, you’ll be able to save valuable time and uncover donors faster. Fundraising software scans billions of datapoints for you, providing a list of which former patients can best support you.

When a potential donor walks through the door, this software can also quickly paint a picture about whether or not they may make a great addition to your grateful patient program!

Define Metrics for Success

Make sure you’re letting your team now how often they should be reaching out to members of the grateful patient program. It’s important that you’re engaging your audience and keeping them up to date with all the successes your organization is achieving.

Also, sit down with your team and decide how you want to measure success from your grateful patient program. There are many different ways to measure this, but it’s important you have a certain metric, so you know if you need to improve any aspect of your fundraising process.

How Can Our Fundraising Software Help Your Grateful Patient Program?

If you’re looking to establish a grateful patient program you may be considering investing in fundraising software, and that’s where iWave comes into play. Our next generation platform is built on billions of data points to help you uncover the right people for your grateful patient program. We’ll also show you how much to ask for, so you can feel confident you’re maximizing donations.

Get started on your raising journey today by requesting a free demo or fundraising assessment