CMN Hospitals asks Santa for a $12m neonatal intensive care unit

Nonprofit CMN Hospitals last year launched its inaugural holiday giving campaign, which was also its first foray into crowdsource fundraising.

Organization: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (Salt Lake City, UT)
Campaign
: Give Miracles
Duration: November 8 - December 31, 2012
Budget: $100,000

Nonprofit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals), which raises awareness and funds for 170 North American children's hospitals, last year launched its inaugural holiday giving campaign, which was also its first foray into crowdsource fundraising. Dubbed “Give Miracles,” the effort allowed donors to choose what they wanted to donate toward from a catalog of items that local children's hospitals needed.

“We raised a record amount in 2012 - more than $300 million overall, which was 13% more than our goal,” explains Craig Sorensen, chief concept officer. “To sustain that and move forward we need to try new ideas, create new giving opportunities, and demonstrate the need of children's hospitals. Our cause innovation team, which was formed in 2011, devised the holiday catalog concept.”

Strategy
Crowd funding platform Fundly built the catalog on GiveMiracles.org, powered the site, and processed donations.

“Inspired a bit by the fantasy gift lists in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, and as a newsworthy hook, we positioned eight big-ticket items, such as a $12 million neonatal intensive care unit, as 'ultimate gifts',” Sorensen says.

CMN Hospitals' cofounder Marie Osmond appeared in PSAs and print and online ads.

Media relations helped drive awareness, and network hospitals, corporate partners, and celebrity supporters promoted the campaign in various ways.

Tactics
Media outreach focused on national consumer outlets and outlets in about 100 local markets surrounding the hospitals.

The hospitals promoted the campaign across numerous channels. Corporate partners spread the word primarily on their social media channels, as did celebrity supporters. Long-time partner Marriott Vacation Clubs distributed10,000 print catalogs in rooms.

The in-house team provided hospitals, partners, and supporters with suggested posts and tweets and other promotional materials.

Results
About $25,000 was raised. Four serious inquiries into high-end gifts came in and conversations are continuing with the potential donors.

GiveMiracles.org was the second-highest traffic driver to Fundly's platform (behind Habitat for Humanity) during November and December.

More than 1,400 earned placements ran in outlets including Huffington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Newsday, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago's WGN-TV.

“Donations weren't as robust as we had hoped, but the campaign overall was a big success for us because it showed real interest in a holiday giving campaign from the public and the media,” Sorensen says. “We drove 45,202 total page views on GiveMiracles.org, but we can do better on conversion and we're working on that.” 

Future
Expansions and improvements are planned for the 2013 Give Miracles holiday campaign. The in-house team is currently working on multiple campaigns for the organization's biggest annual fundraising timeframe (April to June), and on promoting a partnership with 20th Century Fox's “Epic,” set to hit theaters in late May.

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