Garnet Health Foundation

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Healthcare Organizations
North America

Foundation helps provide PPE to health care heroes with peer-to-peer fundraising.

As the hospital system it supports cared for hundreds of COVID-19 patients, Garnet Health Foundation used a new peer-to-peer fundraising solution to spotlight its Emergency Coronavirus Fund, which raised $150,000 within the first two months.

Located 60 miles north of Manhattan, Garnet Health Foundation needed to take swift action when the hospital system it supports turned into an early COVID-19 hotspot. Once the hospital’s first confirmed patient with the virus was admitted, the cases escalated as did the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies.

A Blackbaud customer for more than two decades, the foundation had transitioned to cloud-based solutions the autumn before the crisis and was trying out JustGiving® from Blackbaud®, for the first time when staff established an Emergency Coronavirus Fund, largely to cover PPE costs. “We were able to jump in and use it quickly,” said President William Dauster, adding that having cloud-based solutions helped staff adapt in a variety of ways during the pandemic.

Generating Funds and Goodwill

Available at no subscription cost, JustGiving from Blackbaud can be used by any social good organization as a stand-alone solution, though it integrates easily with other Blackbaud fundraising solutions that incorporate relationship management.

Garnet Health Foundation first directed supporters to the fund’s online page through an email blast launched with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT® and reinforced the messaging through social media. In less than two months, as the hospital discharged nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases, the foundation tallied nearly $150,000 for its Emergency Coronavirus Fund.

With the capabilities provided by JustGiving from Blackbaud, staff could add in offline donations to the total, while using the page to acknowledge a variety of in-kind donations, from pizza and other meals for staff, to protective masks a family made on their 3-D printer. Donors could post their inspirations for giving in their posts on the emergency fund’s page and easily share with friends and families through social media.

One preschooler gave $18 in honor of his late grandfather, who had been a longtime hospital volunteer and foundation board member, while a registered nurse shared the following as she donated $100 for her co-workers and community: “Not all heroes wear capes. We are all being put through the truest test of our lives and making the biggest difference in our patients’ lives along the way. Keep strong, the world is depending on it.”

Capturing Passion, Nurturing Community

When a nurse from the ICU stepdown unit and an ER technician each died from COVID-19, the foundation created peer-to-peer fundraising pages for their families. And when a food service worker sought to lift up colleagues by creating angel wing pendants, the foundation added a page to help cover the costs of materials.  

With Blackbaud Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, the foundation could encourage and spotlight philanthropic expression, according to Dauster, a Certified Fund Raising Executive. In six months, the foundation collected nearly $300,000 in total gifts through its COVID-19 campaigns.

“I think everyone agrees that we’re all in this together, and we’re all going to get out of it together,” Dauster said. “We were capturing the passion around that.”

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