Why do donors support your hospital? It’s all about Give and Tell.

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Mark is there for the birth of his daughter Amanda. He cuts the umbilical cord.

Mark is also there when 23 too-short years later, she gives in to the effects of cancer. He holds her hand as she slips away from his life…forever.

Five years go by, and Mark is looking for a way to remember Amanda – and the people who cared for her. Together, Mark and his colleagues raise $683, donating it to the Palliative Care Unit where Amanda, surrounded by her family and friends, spent her last few months.

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Mark and Amanda’s story doesn’t stop there. Soon, through direct mail, every donor and hospital employee will discover the details of how they all made a difference in the life of this young family.

Donors don’t support hospitals – or equipment – or expansion.

Donors support people. They want to make a difference.

Your hospital is full of stories. Your donors want – and need to hear them.

When you focus on stories you connect on an emotional level. Everything you read runs through your personal filter.

Your feelings are unique. They are real.

You can picture Mark in the operating room when Amanda is born. You can almost see the tears of joy as he snips through the life-giving umbilical cord.

Whether you have children or not, you can also see the pain Mark goes through as his beloved daughter slowly – and bravely – says her long goodbye.

You are connected to Mark. You are connected to Amanda. Your mind relates their story to real events in your life. You can empathize.

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Give and Tell – Every hospital employee is a fundraiser – and storyteller.

In a busy hospital environment it can be difficult for the Foundation or fundraisers to find these personal and engaging stories. So how do you it?

At Bruyere Continuing Care a unique tool was created to help find stories, motivate donors and give health care workers a way to promote sharing.

“Give and Tell” cards are about the size of two business cards. They fit neatly into the palm of your hand. Front-line staff use them to engage someone who has a story to tell.

When a patient or family member talks about the care they received, they can refer to the card. They can use it to make a donation or share their story with others.

Of course Give and Tell cards do not replace the power of human interaction. They simply get the story started.

Give and Tell cards are given to Board members, volunteers, suppliers. This gives them an easy way to help others talk about the compassionate people at your hospital.

Your job as a fundraiser is simple; tell stories. The challenge we have is finding the ones that match your fundraising mission and resonate with your donors.

Author Dan Pink said in his best-selling book, “we are all sales people.” In a hospital, we are all fundraisers.

Sales managers give their sales people the best tools to increase sales. You can replicate Give and Tell cards or find other ways to help staff, donors and volunteers share stories with you.

It is your job to gather the stories and make sure they get told.

Although Mark and Amanda are not their real names, their story is real.