The Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation was established to ensure that Houston Methodist has the support needed to achieve its vision for excellence in research, education and patient care.
Previously, the donation system for the Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation (HMHF) was entirely located on the main site for the Houston Methodist hospital system. It was relatively buried beneath information about finding doctors, scheduling appointments, and medical research. Opportunities to donate to hospitals themselves were conflated with the separate foundation’s efforts, plus the user experience design for giving was so confusing that potential donors were likely to struggle to donate at all.
HMHF needed to start from scratch with a new donation website before they launched their current half-billion-dollar fundraiser titled Power of M. The organization lacked the assets and content to make it happen, and needed a CMS platform that would provide ease of authoring for HMHF’s general marketing team to effectively edit and manage the site. The HMHF team also sought a more traditional marketing and communications approach, as foundation marketing requires focusing on long-term giving and capital campaigns to higher net worth individuals that appreciate transparency around the impact of their donations and showcasing of other people who have contributed as well.
HMHF has a fundraising goal of $500 million, so the Power of M campaign website redesign project had two important requirements: to launch the site in time for the launch of the donation campaign, and to increase both the number of donations and amount given. The causation of the latter is harder to prove, but a clean, easy-to-navigate UX with brilliant, strategic content obviously support this goal.
To connect with higher net worth donors, HMHF elevated the content strategy surrounding the story and impact of the HMHF to convey how supports the overall mission of Houston Methodist hospitals to deliver on leading medicine. The new content also focuses on helping people understand the differentiation between HMHF’s commitment to driving better medicine and other capital campaigns that focus on just building something. This storytelling-based approach is compelling and helps justify large donations to the Power of M campaign. The new website also gives donors more control over the distribution of their donation by allowing them to give to a specific function of the foundation, and the digital experience now showcases the different ways to support HMHF through the Power of M campaign.
HMHF used lean teams for increased speed of delivery concept to launch with a visual approach to requirements for the new site. This project was also special because the Power of M team was in the process of building the branding for capital campaigns as Hero Digital came aboard to digitally illustrate that strategy. While some clients can be hands-off and let Hero take full control of process, the agency got to collaborate with the HMHF team on design and content in an inspiring way that delivered a stunning customer experience through digital engagement strategy, content mapping, visual and UX design, information architecture, and development on Acquia.
The Acquia platform allows exceptional simplicity and ease of authoring for HMHF’s marketing team, which has provided them the freedom to adapt the website as the campaign progresses. They can glean insights quickly to adjust seasonal content and their overall tactical approach to storytelling and other donation strategies. Another crucial requirement for HMHF was zero reliance on internal IT – an already stressed resource – so the cloud solution that Acquia provides was a perfect fit. Furthermore, Acquia’s open environment facilitated the ease of integration of commerce and donations as well as interactive experience tools. The Acquia team’s dedicated commitment to helping nonprofits and NGOs helped to guide HMHF through the decision-making process for CMS selection and the onboarding process of getting the client launched. This has been absolutely critical to achieving HMHF’s goals.
The campaign has had incredible progress so far, with $320 million of the goal $500 million achieved. While not all of these donations were made through the new site, the Power of M online presence has contributed to their plans to “attract brilliance, accelerate research, train superstars, and promote healing.” In total so far, the campaign has had 9,501 donors yielding 18,216 gifts.