As a non-profit health care provider, donations are important to Northwell Health. Donations fund innovation, research, enterprise and the vital care delivered to communities, helping Northwell reach their goal of defining the health care of tomorrow. When our clients wanted to boost donations and reach their goal more quickly, they asked for our help to look inward as well as outward, to create an employee giving programme that their 72,000 employees could get behind.
As always, we started with a deep-dive into Northwell’s culture, speaking to hundreds of employees to understand what mattered most when they donated. As well as uncovering lots of information, we also discovered some critical knowledge gaps – for example, lots of employees didn’t even know Northwell was not for profit. That meant we had to start with education, as well as emotion.
Start with the heart
In the first phase, we created our rally cry – What matters most. This was backed by a storytelling campaign to raise awareness of the incredible impact Northwell has on the patients and communities it serves. We launched with a high-impact film featuring employees and patients, plus a giant environmental timeline showcasing the stories of people who give back. We also used stories across internal channels and at roadshows, harnessing storytelling’s power to build pride and create commitment.
Turn emotion into action
In phase two, when we asked employees to donate their time at a series of flagship events. Events included the Northwell Health Walk, where thousands of New Yorkers walk side by side to promote equal access to quality health care, and Casual for Cohen, where employees wear denim to work in exchange for a donation to Cohen Children’s Medical Center. By highlighting Northwell’s fantastic activity calendar, we showed What matters most in action, demonstrating that Northwell people can change lives when they come together.
Get behind giving
The next step was to embed giving into employee touchpoints, and ask employees to contribute through one-time donations, payroll giving or the recognition scheme. We designed a large-scale yearly event to showcase causes and supporters – the What matters most Relay. The relay ran for six weeks, with a baton travelling between 12 sites to promote giving and celebrate what had been achieved, culminating in a huge celebration on December 3, National Giving Day – renamed Northwell Giving Day.
Creating a community
We also introduced an Ambassador network – a team of employees to advocate and drive participation and support leaders with information and events. We designed and delivered bespoke training to help them understand the causes, with practical tips for sharing stories and creating impactful events. They’re supported by an interactive toolkit, monthly calls and a dedicated buddy from the Northwell Foundation team.
Giving great results
contributed in total, by leaders and employees
raised specifically for special causes
In total, leaders and employees have contributed $12m, with $2million raised specifically for causes like breaking ground on the Gruppuso Family Women and Newborn Center at Staten Island University Hospital and NICU updates at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. But of course, What matters most is about more than money. It’s about uniting team members behind a common purpose and cause. We’re so proud of the giving culture we’ve helped to create and can’t wait to see What matters most in 2020 and beyond.
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