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5 Ways AI Can Improve Your Grateful Patient Program

Kyle Curry
Published:  04/10/2024
Three circles reflect data about giving to nonprofits, health-related organizations, and donations to healthcare institutions.

This post is sponsored by Windfall

One of the biggest challenges with grateful patient programs is maximizing your fundraising team’s limited time. By leveraging AI, you can predict who is most likely to become your next grateful patient. AI can be an intimidating challenge, but from working with healthcare organizations of all sizes, Windfall has developed five simple strategies to implement AI into your organization’s grateful patient strategy. In this article, we’ll walk through the following five methods for leveraging AI to improve your grateful patient program:

  1. Streamlining Identification and Prioritization
  2. Unifying Constituent Data
  3. Creating Automated Workflows
  4. Powering Engagement and Stewardship
  5. Reporting on Success

Method 1: Streamlining Identification and Prioritization

Identification is not just a challenge for fundraising teams, but also for physicians and care teams. One of the biggest roadblocks to grateful patient fundraising is that healthcare professionals can lack confidence in identifying good prospects. With many new patients (and thus grateful patient candidates) arriving every day, it is difficult to understand who is most likely to transition from a patient to a donor. Utilizing AI such as Windfall’s Propensity to Give (PTG) scores can allow fundraising teams to determine which workflow new prospective donors should be placed into—whether major gift, annual fund, planned giving, or otherwise. For example, Windfall’s customer, Columbia University Irving Medical Center increased new patient leads for their major gifts program by 300% by using Windfall’s PTG scores to identify, prioritize, and engage those most likely to donate.


Method 2: Unifying Constituent Data

With multiple databases and systems, it can be challenging to determine one source of truth for all your patient data. But new tools have emerged that can support this. For example, Windfall’s Data Link offering combines disparate databases, such as an EHR and a donor CRM, to create a unified “golden record” which can then be used for modeling and segmentation. Unifying your data allows you to leverage key first-party data points such as hospital history, career progression, and net worth for stronger model scoring. For example, Providence Health uses a combination of Windfall’s wealth screening and propensity modeling, encounter data, and giving history to create lists for their gift officers to review with physicians.


Method 3: Creating Automated Workflows

Data insights become most valuable for your fundraising efforts when you can incorporate them into your fundraising workflows in a way that your team can easily use and rely on. These workflows have even greater efficacy when teams—from medical providers to development—can work cross-functionally to receive actionable insights. Automating your workflows with Windfall’s unlimited screening model can have a profound impact on your team and be as simple as having enriched data flowing directly into your CRM on a set daily or weekly cadence. Creating an automated daily cadence is particularly important for high-volume organizations, where timely outreach to new prospects is critical.


Method 4: Powering Engagement and Stewardship

With the majority of individual fundraising revenue coming from fewer and fewer donors, it is becoming even more important to properly engage and steward donors likely to have the most transformational impact on your organization. Timing is a key factor when determining an outreach strategy for a prospect. Staying engaged with current grateful patient donors or cultivating future donations can be a challenge. Propensity scoring can help solve this problem and capitalize on the brief window of patient thankfulness. Leveraging machine learning to regularly re-score your constituency, and moving quickly when a patient qualifies as a top prospect can mean the difference between engaging with a new life-long supporter or losing them forever.


Method 5: Powering Engagement and Stewardship

Reporting on results is key to a successful fundraising program. Automating reporting can help your team act on the valuable insights that surface to further improve your grateful patient strategy. Beyond your team, these reports can also aid with alignment among internal stakeholders to identify and share stories of success and key metrics. Working with healthcare professionals to identify signals of gratitude is a great first step, but being able to confirm their intuition with data-driven reports and connect the dots between past scoring and successful fundraising efforts can give them the confidence they need to become stronger advocates for your work. For example, Windfall customers have used Tableau to visualize prospect movement from initial scoring, through research, and on to cultivation and conversion–presenting this data in large team meetings to keep everyone energized and on the same page.


While adopting new AI solutions often requires education, change management, and planning, it can be a powerful force for improving grateful patient programs. Here’s what we covered:
  • Utilizing AI such as Windfall’s Propensity to Give (PTG) scores can allow fundraising teams to streamline identification and prioritization.
  • New tools, such as Windfall’s Data Link, can help organizations unify constituent data across multiple systems (for example, a donor database and an EMR)
  • Creating automated workflows, including daily patient screenings, is important for institutions that rely on quick outreach.
  • Year-over-year trends show that more individual donor revenue is coming from fewer donors, and machine learning can help direct fundraisers to the best prospects to engage with.
  • Data-driver reports empower not only fundraising teams but also healthcare professionals.

Whether you are thinking about starting a new grateful patient program or are working to optimize an existing program, Windfall’s eBook on Developing a Data-Driven Grateful Patient Program provides additional insights and an actionable checklist to help you get started.

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Meet The Author

Kyle Curry
Sr. Director of Nonprofit Sales

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