A Warm Welcome for Donors

Case Study 26.4

The Wellstar Foundation Shows Appreciation with Donor Welcome Packages

The Wellstar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Wellstar Health System, Georgia’s largest nonprofit healthcare system, serving more than 1.4 million Georgians annually at over 400 locations. The Wellstar Foundation supports Wellstar Health System’s mission to enhance the health and well-being of every person they serve by expanding access to care beyond Wellstar’s facilities and into Georgia communities. The Foundation’s impact and actions are accelerated through the compassion and donations of supporters, creating a healthier future for all Georgians.

The Challenge

As a large philanthropic organization, the Wellstar Foundation receives donations from many different avenues, including planned gifts, sponsorships, Team Member Giving, grateful patient programs, and more.

Although the Foundation has successful stewardship programs for other donation types, no collateral was established to thank first-time individual annual giving donors for their gifts.

Donor stewardship is critical when it comes to retention. According to a study called “Managing Donor Defection” by Dr. Adrian Sargeant, one of the foremost researchers on donor retention, 13 percent of donors lapsed solely because they were never thanked for donating.

By ensuring that every donor receives a personalized and timely thank-you, the Wellstar Foundation can significantly enhance donor satisfaction and retention. This not only acknowledges donors’ generosity but also fosters a sense of appreciation and connection, encouraging continued support.

The Solution

The Wellstar Foundation team worked with Graphcom to create a stewardship piece to help solve this problem and show gratitude to all who give – a donor welcome package.

This package, which was mailed to donors after their first gift to the Foundation, consisted of a custom envelope, brochure, and branded sticker sheet. Wellstar Foundation Development Officers also included personalized handwritten notes in each package to thank donors personally for their gifts.

Our writers crafted powerful messaging for the brochure about Wellstar Health System’s history, mission, core focus areas, and key statistics. We included a link to Wellstar’s Impact of Giving Report to showcase specific examples of the impact of donations on a larger scale.

The tone of the piece is informative and appreciative, expressing gratitude to donors for their partnership and inspiring them to expand their impact in other ways, such as enrolling in monthly giving, acknowledging caregivers, and sharing their stories.

donor welcome package

Our designers aimed to create compelling graphics that would inspire potential donors to continue to support the Wellstar Foundation and its mission. Following the website and current branding as a guide, we developed engaging imagery and a sleek layout to promote Wellstar Health System and the Foundation.

It was crucial to convey the right tone in both messaging and photography, focusing on positivity in health, families, and relationships. Our goal was to make these pieces relatable to the reader, so we designed them to be simple and easy to read by incorporating larger callouts, sidebars, and icons.

We included a sticker sheet insert along with the book to add value and act as a functional leave-behind. These stickers feature simple, Wellstar-branded icons and can be used as calendar markers, appointment reminders, or in any way the recipient prefers.

donor welcome package sticker sheet

The Results

Wellstar has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from their team regarding the adaptability and effectiveness of this donor welcome package. It has proven to be incredibly versatile, serving as an invaluable tool for distribution at events and during one-on-one meetings. The package has significantly increased retention rates by implementing a more comprehensive stewardship program, solidifying its position as a cornerstone of the organization’s success.

“Graphcom has been an incredible partner in growing our direct response strategies and audience outreach. We truly needed a partner who could strategically and creatively help us think through our goals, inform us on industry benchmarks, test and assess our efforts, and essentially elevate all of our content and communications approaches. We’re very satisfied!”

Erin Cannaday

Executive Director, Foundation Strategy & Communications, The Wellstar Foundation

Ready to show gratitude to your organization’s supporters?

Graphcom can help you welcome donors with open arms.

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