Marshfield Clinic Health System

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Healthcare Organizations
North America

Marshfield Clinic Health System grows its fundraising and volunteer base as an early adopter of Blackbaud’s new peer-to-peer fundraising solution.

With over 100 years of providing medical services to its Wisconsin community, Marshfield Clinic Health System attracts a motivated group of advocates. But Marshfield needed the right tools to activate that support to power game-changing fundraising and awareness for its mission.

When volunteers with Marshfield Clinic Health System in Wisconsin set a goal of $2,000 for their ALS Steps for Hope event, the health system turned them loose with JustGiving from Blackbaud. With nearly two decades of helping people in 164 countries raise money for causes they care about, JustGiving from Blackbaud provided an intuitive platform where Marshfield could direct supporters to build their own, personalized pages to collect gifts.

One organizer alone raised nearly $3,000 after sharing a tribute to a family member who died from the neurological disease. Another volunteer participated in honor of her mother and wheeled her mom to the event.

Marshfield’s volunteers raised more than $6,700—over 335% beyond its goal. In addition to funds to support ALS research, Marshfield received comments through Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising that offered valuable insight behind those contributions. As Donor Communications Coordinator Maree Stewart explained, “There’s a good social proof aspect.”

Sharing Stories Through Fundraising

Marshfield Clinic plays a key role in the community as both a healthcare provider and economic driver. With over 100 years of history and a modern, integrated process of caring for patients, Marshfield attracts an enthusiastic base of supporters.

To learn how to best empower grateful patients and other supporters, Marshfield participated in the early adopter program for JustGiving from Blackbaud—and immediately put the platform to use for the ALS event. “It helps to draw a connection to Marshfield, giving supporters an opportunity to not only express their gratitude but to share their story,” Stewart said. “That is part of the healing process. Giving people an avenue to share while making a difference is so beneficial.”

With JustGiving from Blackbaud, participants can set up their own fundraising pages and share what motivates them in a matter of minutes. And Marshfield’s team can gather data about the people who support those pages and then use that information to
grow and refine communications. As Stewart put it, “It provides more information about donors and a simplified user experience.”

She credits that simplified experience in part for raising critical awareness of Marshfield’s mission. “We’ve seen a very significant increase in the number of volunteer fundraisers held to benefit Marshfield Clinic,” Stewart said. In 2018 alone, Marshfield raised over $431,000 from volunteer fundraising events, up from $287,000 in 2017.

Time Saved, Participation Grown

Stewart likes that she and colleagues can manually input gifts received outside of Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising to add to their progress toward their goal—a great marketing tool. Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising campaigns prove easy to share on social media without the challenges of receiving gifts directly from those channels.

For example, with the ubiquitous Facebook® birthday fundraisers, Marshfield’s team struggled to attribute and acknowledge gifts after receiving checks from Facebook—a missed opportunity to cultivate relationships. “Everyone wants to do Facebook birthday fundraisers,” Stewart explained, “but the platform makes it challenging to obtain donor information. Without it we can’t thank our donors, which is so important.”

Data Services Administrator Angie Guralski anticipates the forthcoming integration of JustGiving from Blackbaud with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT, which will take the data retrieval process from simple to seamless. “It’s going to be much easier on my end, because I don’t have to manually put that data in,” Guralski said. “That is a very exciting piece.”

Marshfield’s team looks forward to new tools to share its mission beyond traditional communication channels. Stewart explained that peer-to-peer fundraising draws the connection between the causes people care about and organizations within their own communities that share their commitment.

“What better testimonial for what we do than having other people want to raise support on our behalf?” she said. “Blackbaud has helped us grow exponentially, and it’s a good trend to be on.”

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Marshfield Clinic Health System
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