A Smarter Way to Fundraise: Explore Classy’s Fundraising Intelligence Suite

Timely Healthcare Fundraising Trends [2024]

Healthcare provider seeing a young patient in doctor's office

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Published July 8, 2024 Reading Time: 7 minutes

Healthcare nonprofits deliver life-changing work daily, and charitable giving among tight-knit communities takes them to new heights. Classy partners with many hospitals and nonprofits that support healthcare causes, including innovators like Massachusetts General Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Avera Foundation. Understanding the current landscape is our top priority to provide the forward-thinking tools and fundraising technology our partners need to sustain long-term impact. 

Members of several teams here at Classy get together regularly with leaders from these organizations and others to discuss what truly drives success with healthcare fundraising and what challenges emerge as opportunities to focus future efforts. By recognizing this sector’s increased and evolving demands, we can collectively identify ways to combat unique challenges and maximize emerging areas of opportunity.

Below are some of the most recently discussed healthcare fundraising trends and tips for 2024, which will help you build, nurture, and retain loyal donor communities.

Healthcare fundraising trends for 2024 and beyond

1. Offering the fastest route to in-the-moment giving

The draw to take action on behalf of a specific healthcare cause, mission, or individual can spark at any moment. It’s critical to meet that moment of passion with the easiest way to give to your organization, from anywhere, at any time.

Modern donors are also far more tech-savvy. They respond well to scanning a QR code in a hospital’s waiting room, launching a fundraiser in minutes, and posting it on Instagram to start collecting online donations. There’s also a continued focus on reaching younger donors to sustain fundraising efforts with the smoothest giving experience possible. 

That might look like:

  • One-button social sharing
  • Direct mail with QR codes to donate immediately
  • Mobile-first donation page designs
  • Minimal information fields and prefilled forms for returning donors
  • Recognizable mobile payment options (like Apple Pay, Venmo, and PayPal)

Essentially, the more your healthcare nonprofit can eliminate the steps between interest to give and a completed donation, the better your chance of acquiring donations.

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

Sanford Health Foundation recognized how technology fuels fast experiences that donors have come to expect. The organization streamlined its Children’s Gala for the modern attendee to strengthen existing relationships and make a strong impression on new community members. 

The nonprofit raised nearly $1.1M on a $500K goal with swift processes and event management capabilities, such as:

  • Automatic SMS reminders and emails
  • Preloaded attendee, paddle number, and table information 
  • Mobile event check-in 
  • Credit card readers for in-the-moment donations

The Sanford Health Foundation team estimated they saved over 80 hours altogether by automating these pre-event tasks.

The overall event experience was donor-centric, but it was also team-centric because we didn’t need to stress as much as we used to during events. We could trust the process. For everyone involved in this event, from operations and marketing to fundraising, we were all gifted time back and peace of mind [using Classy Live]. We used that time to connect with attendees and donors and steward the relationships even after the event.

Carrie Biondi

Senior Director of Marketing and Operations at Sanford Health Foundation

Keep reading about Sanford Health Foundation’s event success

2. Storytelling with a focus on conversion

Healthcare causes evolve rapidly, creating space and a high demand for storytelling that brings donors along for the journey. Donors who give to a nonprofit to support the well-being of others want to see that tangible impact and understand how things progress. Those updates can be new medical research, patient testimonials, or upcoming initiatives.

Strong healthcare storytelling helps deliver a human touch, creates an emotional appeal by connecting patients and beneficiaries with potential donors, and reiterates the detailed impact of contributions. Continuing to look at storytelling as a cohesive process that builds on itself over time will help establish the most authentic relationships with donors. 

Bring your story to life to convert donors through:

  • Videos, infographics, and interactive visuals that display impact
  • Impact tiles that showcase what a donation can do
  • Highly personalized email automation to get updates out quickly 
  • Webinars and additional resources that embrace the desire to learn

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

Avera Foundation touched the hearts and minds of more communities on Giving Tuesday with a storytelling campaign built around how donors like to interact with the organization. The nonprofit turned to its specific goals to weave consistent messaging and branding into each page and unique audience to engage new and existing donors. 

By prioritizing donor connections, the Avera Foundation maintained steady contact between campaigns like this one and larger events, such as its Race Against Cancer, which raised a record-setting total of $650K in 2023.

Learn more about Avera Foundation’s donor-first strategy

3. Supporting donor lifetime value with secure intelligence

It’s no secret that donor lifetime value is a priority across the social sector. For healthcare organizations, there’s power in your patient and advocate communities that can turn into loyal annual giving. Intelligence can make it easier to do so without requiring more time. 

Boosting donor lifetime value requires more personalization than ever before to offer meaningful outreach to potential major donors, recurring donors, corporate partnerships, and many other highly specific groups. Many healthcare organizations will also need dynamic content and personalized campaigns to support various hospitals or sub-organizations within their umbrella. 

Leveraging a customer relationship management or donor management system is a must, and artificial intelligence makes it easier. We’re not suggesting a robotic email template but rather the many ways intelligent fundraising simplifies stewardship for large supporter communities. 

Intelligence features look like:

  • Personalized ask amounts for each donor who visits your donation forms to aid larger gift sizes
  • Predictive supporter insights that inform recommended nurture steps and give potential
  • Automatic credit card update prompts 
  • Recurring nudges to prompt one-time donors to upgrade to a recurring gift

Along with intelligence, confirm that your fundraising technology leverages clean data and the highest security protocols. Integrations between fundraising tools can only enhance intelligence as more secure data flows into your systems.

Explore integration possibilities

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

Riley Children’s Foundation harnessed deeper donor insights to help increase conversion rates and boost fundraising totals by 19%. Ahead of the busiest giving season at year-end, the nonprofit got strategic with donor segmentation and made the most of information from Classy and Salesforce.

Personalizing gift suggestions based on a donor’s history and acquisition source created intentional communications that resulted in more completed gifts. Not only did Riley Children’s Foundation see more conversions, but they also strengthened relationships with patients and supporters to nurture future fundraising opportunities and advocacy potential. 

The most important aspect is that the tailored communication approach didn’t require extra time to be effective because of the intelligence available at the time, which they’ve only enhanced since then.

Explore the latest in fundraising intelligence

4. Offering grateful patient programs to empower fundraisers

The communities that back the healthcare sector are tight-knit, especially with retention-focused fundraising strategies. While individual donors can’t always give more (or more frequently), they may be willing and ready to try peer-to-peer fundraising

For example, grateful patient programs help those impacted by an organization’s work take action through peer-to-peer fundraising. These programs and DIY fundraising opportunities offer advocacy and cause awareness outlets that enhance the patient and supporter experience. The more passionate supporters can share their positive sentiments with their community, the more likely the organization’s story will resonate. 

People are particularly willing to give when the request comes from someone they know and trust, especially when the cause is close to their heart. Emphasize your community and empower them with an easy-to-set-up fundraising page to tell their story and see how many people it can reach.

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

Massachusetts General Hospital highlighted grateful patient programs that allow supporters to give back to the doctors, nurses, and hospitals that changed their lives. 

Fundraisers can participate in one of three programs: Community Fundraising, Mass General Marathon Team, and Mass General Cancer Center Eversource 5K Run-Walk. Community initiatives helped the nonprofit raise $7M in a year.

The flexibility of a peer-to-peer campaign allows anyone to fundraise how they’d like and personalize the experience, including aspects like messaging, visuals, and goals. As Massachusetts General Hospital looks to engage younger generations with personalized messaging and opportunities, a smooth fundraising experience is essential to their success.

We want to make it as easy as possible to fundraise for us. Classy enables our supporters to make all of the choices when creating a fundraising page. My team can easily jump in and adjust a fundraising page if needed.

Leslie Ruchala

Director of Third-Party Fundraising at Massachusetts General Hospital

Explore the success of Massachusetts General Hospital

5. Expanding the potential of fundraising events

Events are a tried-and-true healthcare fundraising technique that has become more impressive. Successful organizations are taking their events to larger audiences through hybrid options that make every participant feel seen and valued.

Engagement possibilities will only grow as event strategies remain a focus, from annual galas to creative endurance series. The flexibility to offer impressive and tailored experiences across online and in-person audiences will help healthcare institutions grow that critical awareness. 

Events will continue to scale with fundraising event software features, such as:

  • Mobile auctions and paddle-raise events
  • Quick QR code check-in options
  • Live leaderboards and campaign progress
  • Virtual tables, breakout rooms, and speed networking 
  • Automated event updates via text and email
  • Access to a wide array of metrics to benchmark fundraising success and grow with attendee preferences

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

Shriners Children’s planned and executed a once-in-a-century anniversary event that raised $1.6M. The event engaged 700 in-person guests at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, while simultaneously livestreaming curated content to virtual attendees for maximum impact.

The nonprofit’s first event of this kind included intricate details like a live auction and a Dierks Bentley concert. Online attendees also watched recorded interviews with patient families, participated in a silent auction, and experienced more engaging ways to connect to the cause.

6. Tapping into the power of targeted awareness campaigns 

Awareness campaigns are an opportunity to reach activated donors when they’re ready to get involved. Nonprofits collaborating with the healthcare system can tap into supporters who feel deeply connected to their cause for more strategic donor acquisition. Unlike other charitable causes, healthcare donors have a personal tie to health challenges or feel a strong call to advocate for those impacted. 

An awareness campaign is a significant opportunity to engage people looking specifically for nonprofits that support their cause of interest and inspire action. A few simple lines of text and a powerful image can show new and potential supporters that your organization already does trusted, proven work in an area of health that is deeply concerning them. 

At the same time, these campaigns must be extremely pinpointed to reach the right people at the right time in the places they already search. Many healthcare organizations have the advantage of search engine optimization and the existing traffic around cause-related keywords. 

For example, building a strategic ad campaign around the search terms “mental health” or “breast cancer nonprofits” can help you get in front of interested individuals and introduce them to your organization. From a Google, social media, or other search-based campaign, you can guide these individuals to a simple donation website to learn more and start giving.

Healthcare fundraising trends in action:

One leading healthcare nonprofit took action when it realized that paid ads are critical to donor acquisition. The organization successfully built a community of more than 650 local affiliates and 49 state organizations with the help of awareness campaigns and a strong fundraising platform focused on delivering a smooth donation experience. 

Using evergreen search ads on platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Bing led to impressive results, including:

  • 4.8x return on investment from an evergreen search campaign
  • 52% year-over-year increase in gifts
  • 64% of donation page visitors completed a donation

Moving healthcare philanthropy forward 

Healthcare organizations take on incredibly impactful work, and it’s not always easy. Classy is constantly keeping a pulse on what can simplify the fundraising process and pour more time and energy into the relationship-building at the foundation of it all.

As healthcare fundraising trends evolve, we’re here to help you mobilize grateful patients to fundraise on your behalf, power your events, offer the simplest donation forms to any supporter, and bring your campaign designs to life to let your mission shine through to drive more impact. 

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Learn more about Classy for healthcare

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