The development staff set about to design an entirely new approach to the employee campaign—one that would emphasize building strong relationships with hospital leadership, involve front-line workers, and clearly communicate the benefit of donations to the hospital and its employees.
The first steps
To gain control over external nonprofit groups’ access to the hospital as a solicitation venue, Lasseter instituted a firm, one-group-per-month policy. For example, a United Way drive would be held in November while the new internal employee campaign would take place in April.
At the same time, the development department took positive steps to increase employee involvement. They recruited an active chair and a committee of enthusiastic front-line workers to carry the campaign message to each of the hospital’s branches and divisions.
Identifying appropriate staff among layers of hospital departments was not easy, but Lasseter reports it was largely a one-time task that paid off with strong relationships for subsequent campaigns. Through one-on-one messaging, committee members were encouraged to explain the importance of giving even modest donations. This approach has proven to be highly effective. Participation rates soared from less than one in 20 hospital workers to more than one in four, and donations advanced four-fold.
The NASCAR theme was replaced by the tag line “Support/Sustain/Share”—to emphasize how employees’ gifts impact patients, other employees and the quality of care. Donors may give to a specific hospital division, toward the purchase of equipment selected as a campaign goal, or to an Employee Benevolent Fund that provides grants or loans to workers in need. Online giving has been streamlined for one-time gifts, payroll deductions or earnings contributed from paid days off.
A short video about campaign goals was produced to show at meetings for employees and hospital executives. Campaign literature was toned down—swapped for a single reminder postcard mailed to all employees, table tents and easy-to-use pledge cards. Expensive gifts were replaced with simple tokens, such as a rubber bracelet or colorful plastic pen.
Finally, a concerted effort is made to say thank you—including year-long messaging in employee newsletters and websites that shows the positive results accomplished with donations.