The Emergency Department Campaign
The Sheridan Group was engaged in the spring, 2010, to conduct a Feasibility Study on behalf of Phase I of the Hospital’s Master Facilities Plan, an expansion of the Emergency Department and Central Plant Upgrade. The E.D. was constructed in 1986 to receive 16,000 visitors annually; in 2010, more than 30,000 patients entered its doors.
The Hospital’s previous campaign, concluded in 2006, raised $3,000,000 for a new Cancer Center. The total raised included approximately $1,500,000 in ongoing annual support.
The Feasibility Study indicated significant confidence in the Hospital’s board and administrative leadership. At the same time, there were concerns about the Hospital’s future, in light of several public reports of potential mergers with or acquisitions by various regional healthcare systems.
The Hospital took the next ten months to confirm its position on its future operating model and, on The Sheridan Group’s recommendation, held individual cultivation meetings with the campaign’s top prospects to share this position, prior to its public release.
After The Sheridan Group revalidated the initial Feasibility Study Findings and Recommendations, the campaign began in the spring, 2011, with the recruitment of campaign leadership. A special Board Campaign Committee was recruited to solicit the Hospital’s Board members, who were ready and willing to solidify their commitments. The Board achieved 100% participation by the end of the summer and reached a total amount which was three times what the Board gave to the Cancer Center Campaign five years earlier.
The Campaign Cabinet continued to work on top prospect cultivation and solicitation over the next nine months, securing several six-figure commitments. Two cultivation receptions were held, as well as numerous one-on-one personal visits. In addition, the Hospital’s President and Vice President for Development visited each of the Hospital’s 45 employed and affiliated medical practices to share the vision for the Campaign and ensure buy-in by the nearly 200 physicians. Support from the medical community quickly surpassed $500,000.
With more than $3.4 million raised toward its $5,000,000 goal (including a $1 million grant for the Central Plant Upgrade from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), The Emergency Department Campaign went public in June, 2012. Through a multi-platform strategy of publications, media advertising, direct mail and web-site marketing, the Campaign had surpassed $4.0 million by the end of 2012 and successfully met its goal in the summer, 2013.
Importantly, the Hospital’s level of annual support from community members and event attendees increased each year while the E.D. Campaign was conducted. Further, outreach efforts toward the several dozen medical practices have resulted in important relationships with the Hospital and a greater overall esprit de corps among the Hospital’s medical professionals.