How to Build a Grateful Patient Program to Drive Lifetime Donors | npENGAGE

How to Build a Grateful Patient Program to Drive Lifetime Donors

By on Jun 21, 2017


donor screening, grateful patient programs

Today’s healthcare market is consumer driven. Forward thinking facilities must find ways to attract, keep, and nurture patients. Engaging grateful patients in philanthropy is an ideal way to do just that.

While data analytics and successful implementation strategies prove necessary for attracting potential patients, it is the ultimate responsibility of hospital and foundation staff members to collectively keep and nurture those relationships. Doing this provides the hospital foundation with a base of support that comes from its most loyal constituents, its grateful patients.

These types of constituent programs are formed at the intersection of clinical and philanthropic experiences and should involve hospital executives and foundation leadership. A well thought-out grateful patient program provides the guidelines to cultivate relationships with patients and turn those patients into lifetime supporters and donors.

10 key factors of a successful grateful patient program:

  1. Dedicated resources and staff time outlined from kickoff through implementation and evaluation
  2. A methodical, measureable plan with leadership buy-in and participation
  3. Data—HIPAA compliant patient demographics
  4. Amount, type and frequency of data needed and coordination with hospital IT
  5. Prescreening and database management tools
  6. Physician involvement
  7. Administrative patient rounding and continuous feedback
  8. Access to patient satisfaction data
  9. Refinement as program evolves
  10. A true partnership between hospital and its foundation

An effective grateful patient program involves the entire staff from clinicians, dining services, housekeeping, development, case management, executives and foundation staff. Statistics show that the majority of consumers grade their overall hospital stays as opposed to just the medical attention they received. Because quality care impressions are established from the complete experience, it is vital to have active involvement from each and every department.

Once established, regularly evaluating your grateful patient program is crucial. Tracking the process and staffing will reveal necessary adjustments. Following the amount of patient donations, measuring the duration between first solicitation and gift, and comparing resources spent versus donations acquired will be valuable as you continuously improve your campaign. Consideration and implementation of a grateful patient program is an initial investment, but increasing your facility’s bottom line from those whom have already been welcomed through your doors can provide a lifetime of loyal supporters.


As President and General Manager, Page Bullington oversees the overall business strategy, company sales, marketing and partner development for Blackbaud Healthcare Solutions. The team includes the sales and marketing of cloud-based and on-premise solutions specifically beneficial for the healthcare market, allowing these entities to increase revenue, reduce costs and enhance increased constituent relationships.  

Before this role, Page was Director of Healthcare Solutions at Blackbaud, leveraging her extensive analytics experience to oversee the solution marketing for the Blackbaud healthcare team. The US and Canada territories include hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Care Centers, Post-Acute facilities and healthcare philanthropic foundations. 

Joining Blackbaud in 2007, Page Bullington served as a strategic fundraising consultant in the Target Analytics division. Since then, she has held several key leadership roles including Director of Professional Services and Support, as well as Director of Solution Management and Marketing. Among her accomplishments are conceptualizing and launching Fundraising Essentials, the Principal Giving Solution and the Grateful Patient Solution. Prior to Blackbaud, Page was Grants Director for Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, SC, specializing in grant writing and corporate gift funding. Her background also includes work with The National Beta Club, United States Congress, Corporate DevelopMint and the Joseph P. Riley Institute for Public Policy. She has extensive experience working in the nonprofit industry, specifically with educational, healthcare and political organizations. Her expertise centers on fundraising analytics, membership development, major gift and principal gift fundraising, patient fundraising and grants based funding initiatives. 

Page has a Masters of Public Administration from the College of Charleston with a concentration in nonprofit management, and a BA in English Literature from the Honors College of Winthrop University. She is also board member for HALOS of Charleston and the Palmetto Military Support Group. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *