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Using Social Media for Fundraising

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After 8 years of budget cuts, Silicon Valley’s public hospital, Valley Medical Center, faced mandated closure of half their beds. Join this webinar to learn how VMC used social media to prove the ...

After 8 years of budget cuts, Silicon Valley’s public hospital, Valley Medical Center, faced mandated closure of half their beds. Join this webinar to learn how VMC used social media to prove the value of their organization to secure financial support and avoid a shutdown. Chris Wilder will demonstrate how YOU can use Facebook, video, blogs, and other Web 2.0 tools to launch a successful fundraising campaign. He will walk you through how to develop, implement, and support a strong social media strategy that delivers results.

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  • Greetings, folks…most of my presentation will be done “oral history” format, with slides simply supplementing or visually exemplifying what I’m talking about. These first four slides are here merely to demonstrate the history and growth of Silicon Valley’s busiest hospital.
  • When the “new VMC” opened ten years ago, giving us 574 beds, we were seeing maybe 140,000 patients a year (unduplicated, inpatient and outpatient). That number is 240K today, amid our ninth year of consecutive budget cuts.
  • VMC is nationally known for its spinal cord and brain injury programs, regional burn center, and the only Level 1 Trauma Center in San Jose (the nation’s 10 th largest city). Public opinion polling last year confirmed our guess: Most folks in San Jose didn’t know any of those things.
  • Turning Wheels, a program started by a VMC nurse manager, is now part of the VMC Foundation. Last year Turning Wheels’ volunteers built 2300 bikes in one day, to be given to needy families. Without this program, many kids would have nothing new for the holidays, and too many have too few recreation options. 25% of the Latino population in San Jose has diabetes. Way too many are kids.
  • The Northridge Earthquake in 1994 resulted in 14 hospitals being evacuated, and many could not open again. Later that year, the Governor signed a law that still stands as California’s largest “unfunded mandate”. VMC went to work immediately to comply – but the economy by 2000 was NOT helping.
  • VMC is the public hospital for Silicon Valley – with virtually no marketing or advertising budget. Social media, it seemed to us at the VMC Foundation, might be the catalyst to bring the kind of vital info out to the public that had always been lacking. That dynamic made our chances of victory slim – and as the economy got worse all summer, and as the ballot grew to record-setting size (we were at the bottom), many wrote Measure A off: “You can’t win, and shouldn’t try.”
  • I don’t have a screen shot of vmcmatters.org, sadly…but it’s important to know that vmcmatters was a product of the “VMC Seismic Safety Committee” the political action group that ran the campaign to pass Measure A. This group was separate from the foundation, but coincidentally contained a few similar players. The key here was to ensure that all info between each site was consistent, and updated often.
  • An old adage in fund raising is “people don’t give to organizations; people give to people.” Same is true for blogs. You have to insert your personality, and if you don’t have one of those, have creative funny people help you invent one. Be a little wacky and funny, and don’t be afraid to be personal. I often write about my efforts to lose weight, or my doctor lacing my coffee with blood pressure med’s…it keeps people reading, no matter what I’m writing about.
  • Keep It Short.
  • Here’s an example of what might have worked in 1998, but not anymore. Great info, and I love Guidestar to pieces, but seriously…the next FOUR slides are continuing shots of the same email! People read novels at bedtime or on the subway…not at their desks at work. How many worthy agencies’ newsletters do you delete without reading? And then you feel guilty. So unfair.
  • Also, look at the distracting stuff all down the right side…your eye doesn’t know where to go! Maybe it’s just me, but when I’m bombarded with too much info, I tune out or go pet the dog.
  • What I like is short, relevant blasts of info every few days…and if you’re making enough noise in your community, you should be able to do that. Not everyone will read every post or email blast, but they’ll get a short, tiny reminder: “We are here!” Remember Horton and the Whos.
  • Yes, we got permission from the boy and his family! We make our videos using a cheap camera, a cheaper microphone, and a staff member who has slightly less tech savvy than your average 12 year old. It’s become that easy. A good story on video says WAY more than a page of text – and who can turn off a boy, telling his story of a bike accident? That’s right: No one can.
  • The important thing is to blog – or film – about things that are really interesting to you…and then let your interest be apparent to the audience. That interest will reinforce your main message, but it has to be more than “we are a great medical center that deserves your support”.
  • “ No one reads the paper anymore.”…so, if that’s true, it’s crucial to use your blog, website, twitter, Facebook and constant contact to ensure the message is not missed.
  • Appeal to emotion. It will never stop working. People will forget what you said. They will even forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel. Thanks, Maya Angelou.
  • By the time November 4 rolled around, the ballot in Santa Clara County was at record length, with dozens of candidates, measures, and decisions for voters to wade through…and we were near the bottom. The economy had, over the course of the summer, collapsed. Yet, we won in a landslide with 78.12% - the top vote getter on the ballot. More than Barack Obama.
  • Measure A was a shot in the arm for an increasingly frustrated staff of doctors, nurses, technicians and everyone. The message was clear: The community values what we do, and are willing to step up for us.
  • With 6,000 employees, VMC was a largely untapped potential resource for donations. The question was had to ask ourselves: If we build a social media component, and try to make it a fun campaign, will VMC’s staff – stretched the limit and facing more layoffs – embrace this or rebel against it?
  • By July 2009, the “Give a Booster Shot” campaign had raised more than twice the goal we set originally.
  • We’re just scratching the surface on some of these products, but there seems to be an idea floating around that “if you build it, they will come.” I don’t buy that. If you build it, and it’s fun or engaging, and interesting, and has a personality, and you DO THE WORK, then they might come! The VMC Foundation built this page a couple weeks ago, and we have only 240+ “fans” so far…but it’s interesting to see that of the six fans shown on this screen, four are elected officials in Silicon Valley. The story about our Congressman is getting massive buzz, and is helping us in a variety of ways.
  • We’re just scratching the surface on some of these products, but there seems to be an idea floating around that “if you build it, they will come.” I don’t buy that. If you build it, and it’s fun or engaging, and interesting, and has a personality, and you DO THE WORK, then they might come! The VMC Foundation built this page a couple weeks ago, and we have only 240+ “fans” so far…but it’s interesting to see that of the six fans shown on this screen, four are elected officials in Silicon Valley. The story about our Congressman is getting massive buzz, and is helping us in a variety of ways.

Using Social Media for Fundraising Presentation Transcript

  • 1. How social media can give a boost to your agency Chris Wilder, Executive Director Valley Medical Center Foundation www.vmcfoundation.org
  • 2. Valley Medical Center – Saving our public hospital with social media E. Chris Wilder, Executive Director Valley Medical Center Foundation www.vmcfoundation.org
  • 3. Valley Medical Center 1876
  • 4. Valley Medical Center 1935
  • 5. Valley Medical Center 1960
  • 6. Valley Medical Center 1999
  • 7. “ Dedicated to the health of the whole community” VMC is the among the finest hospitals in Silicon Valley
  • 8. The VMC Foundation A private, separate corporation founded in 1988 Raising private money for the public hospital…an unusual idea in 1988, not unusual today Created not just by VMC, but Silicon Valley leaders and elected officials
  • 9. Let’s have a party Special events keep VMC Foundation donors involved, bring in new donors, and help raise “unrestricted money” – the hardest to raise. Special events are important, but NOT the best way to raise money!
  • 10. Growing programs, starting new ones
  • 11. Turning Wheels for Kids
  • 12. The situation: Replace VMC or LOSE VMC.
    • All California hospitals must be able to withstand an 8.0 quake by 2013 or be shut down.
    VMC replaced ½ its seismically outdated beds in 1999, built a new outpatient building 2005-2008, but had NO MONEY for the other 270 beds needed. Price tag: $800,000,000.
  • 13. 4/08: Public Opinion Polling – can we win?
    • Maybe, if:
    • The economy doesn’t get worse
    • The ballot isn’t too long
    • We run a really great campaign ($$$)
    • Opposition is nonexistent
    • … and even then, we might just squeak by with 67%.
    • 6/08: Measure A was born. Game on.
  • 14. How did WE become the “go to” organization to get this done???
  • 15. Step 1: Launch 2 websites and drive traffic between them.
    • www.vmcmatters.org meets www.vmcfoundation.org
  • 16. Step 2: Blogger meets Constant Contact
  • 17. Chris’s totally subjective idea on how to blog and CC correctly (oh – and it works)
  • 18.  
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  • 24. Step 3: stay current to stay relevant
  • 25. Step 4: Text is so “last century”.
  • 26. All roads lead to the main message…
  • 27. Quick, interesting, funny, strange…
  • 28. Step 5: when others tell your story, re-tell it!
  • 29. … right up to the last week…
  • 30. November 4, 7:01 pm… 78% Measure A WINS!
  • 31. 1/12/09 Next up: Capitalize on our new-found fame (public knows us now, hospital staff grateful for our work…)
  • 32. A grateful VMC staff = a generous VMC staff…
  • 33. Twitter + email + friendly competition…
  • 34. If you get paid to say nice things about your hospital, find folks who don’t and use them!
  • 35. When others tell your story, retell it!
  • 36. Social media cannot exist on its own… 50 presentations in 30 days to department meetings, staff gatherings, Q n’ A… Lots of 1:1 communication using the “telephone” or “face to face” (different than Facebook)
  • 37. … and lunch cannot be served through social media. Yet.
  • 38. Oh right…Facebook and Twitter.
  • 39. So, what’s the ROI here?
  • 40. Why you have to do this…
    • You are not in complete control of your message anymore
    • You are no longer believable
    • You need a seat at the table
    • There is no going backward…this is how people communicate now.
  • 41. Thank you for your kind attention! [email_address] www.vmcfoundation.org www.wildersideofhealth.blogspot.com 408-885-5201