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Building Community Awareness Case Study

Client: Midwestern 189-bed hospital

Business challenge
Establish the hospital’s new cardiac care center as the area’s best choice for advanced heart care well a year before its official opening, and attract 1,000 new donors to raise $9 million in needed funds and earn a grant from the Kresge Foundation.

Objective
Raise awareness throughout the community of the need for the cardiac care center to both stimulate donor generosity and maximize use of the center upon opening.

Planning process
Implemented a multi-faceted approach focused on grass roots tactics as most effective way to reach the donor audience. Presented the case for the new center through a variety of channels, including:

  • Heart to Heart Speakers Bureau, reaching out to key community groups by offering individualized presentations on heart health from the new center’s cardiologists, nurses, rehab specialists and nutritionists
  • Quarterly community newsletter, Heartfelt News
  • Community education forums on heart disease 
  • Negotiated a monthly column, Questions of the Heart, in suburban newspaper chain Pioneer Press
  • Pitched news to all local media on a regular basis, featuring the new center’s heart experts, the Kresge Challenge and key milestones in construction and service offerings

Results/outcome
Both the credibility and donor campaigns surpassed expectations.

  • The capital campaign reached nearly $15 million and added 1,000 new donors to their database
  • More than 35 speaking opportunities were booked through the Speakers Bureau, reaching nearly 1,500 citizens and thought leaders. 
    • Catalyzed an influential community group to adopt the cause as their own and launch a complementary campaign to raise donors and build credibility for the center
  • Feature articles placed nearly every quarter in local media, featuring the center’s medical leadership and construction milestones
  • Extensive media coverage at center’s grand opening, including the Chicago Tribune, Pioneer Press and Daily Herald

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