How to Work DIY Fundraising in the Hospital and Healthcare Sector

February 6, 2018

You’ve probably heard the term DIY used in a number of different contexts: home decor, crafting, and weddings – but what about fundraising?

DIY (do it yourself) fundraising is a fast-growing trend in the nonprofit world, and likely one that you’ll want to learn more about. On January 23rd, Hillary Freeman of CHLA and our Founder and President, Mike Johnston, co-hosted a webinar with P2P Forum that gave listeners an overview on DIY fundraising in the hospital and healthcare sector, and how to leverage the possibilities that this fundraising approach offers. In order to offer some insight for all levels of knowledge around this topic, we’ve outlined the webinar content into three key takeaways:

Why DIY Fundraising?

There’s a reason that DIY is becoming such a popular fundraising approach, and that is the success that it results in for many organizations who put it to best use. During the webinar, we highlighted various ways that DIY can be implemented, including examples such as tribute giving, crowdfunding, and activities such as runs or cycling events.

DIY offers a low barrier entry opportunity that engages valuable supporters who, on average, raise more per event, are more likely to give to other areas such as monthly giving, and have the power of their personal network at hand to leverage as a fundraising base. For Hospital Foundations specifically, DIY can serve a number of areas such as Grateful Patient, Third Party, and various departments in the hospital all under one branded, evergreen website.

Hillary provided a first-hand example of CHLA’s success with DIY. According to the 2013 Blackbaud P2P and DIY Benchmark Study, CHLA raised over 2x more than the average gift and over 7x more than the total raised through other DIY and P2P efforts. Their secret to success? They built a site in response to supporter demand, engaged ambassadors as core community fundraisers to motivate participants, and used cross-team collaboration to leverage internal capacity to take the first step towards DIY success.

Trends and Differentiation with DIY

During the webinar, we took a look at different generations and how they each contribute to fundraising through peer-to-peer efforts. As mentioned, it’s found that all generations get involved, presenting a huge opportunity for Healthcare Foundations. DIY giving presents an opportunity for many different audiences to give, from grateful patients and their families to those in their surrounding networks who see the mission behind the cause.

Hillary talked about differentiation with Healthcare Foundations and how these factors connect to DIY. She highlighted the social aspect that DIY opportunities offer and the teams and groups that form as a result of this, both internally and externally. Also highlighted was the intimate connection that each supporter has to the foundation, whether they were a patient themselves or a loved one who experienced their level of care simultaneously.

The beauty of DIY is that each participant has the option to fundraise in their own way, for their own personal reasons, while still supporting the overall cause of the organization – hence the idea of “do it yourself”!

How to Make DIY Successful

For those of you who are new to DIY, or for those wanting to learn more and sharpen their skills, we put together a list of questions to ask yourself when it comes to your organization’s DIY knowledge base and strategy. For the newbies, we also provided a checklist to reference when it comes time to action your DIY site launch. In summary, the questions focused on the following:

Once you have established your standing in terms of readiness to implement, our checklist is readily available to make the process as seamless as possible. In a nutshell, you start with a communications plan, document all necessary information regarding policies, procedures, and FAQs for staff, draft emails, educate staff, and the most important – promote your new strategy. After all, DIY is exciting and because of this, you should be excited to share this with those who are dedicated to your organization!

Like any new fundraising approach, the more you know, the better. We would be happy to provide more information to help you implement DIY to leverage your organization’s fundraising efforts. If you’d like to learn more, here’s a link to the full webinar where Hillary and I dig a bit deeper into the information above. We’ll also be hosting a session on this content at the P2P Conference in Miami, FL on March 1st and 2nd, 2018 – register today so you don’t miss out!

We look forward to seeing how DIY improves your organization’s fundraising success!

About the Author

Hailey joined hjc in the role of Fundraising Coordinator in April 2017. She is a graduate of the Business Administration program at George Brown College and is looking forward to making her footprint in the industry. She has a passion for communication and problem solving and believes that these skills play a prominent role within her position at hjc.