Last Monday, startups and partners of the Donar Startup Assist Program worked overtime to help out the Beatrix Children’s Hospital. Around 30 people divided into five teams came up with practical and creative ideas to help increase sponsors and donations.
The Beatrix Children's Hospital is one of the four largest children's hospitals in the Netherlands and part of the University Medical Center Groningen. It focuses on high-quality medical diagnostics and treatment and care for children aged 0-18 years.
The hospital is the only children's hospital in the Netherlands specializing in liver, small intestine and lung transplants in children and children with this condition from all over the Netherlands are admitted to Groningen. The Beatrix Children's Hospital has approximately 6,500 admissions per year and per year about 20,000 children visit the Beatrix clinic.
More corporate friends
Donar Startup Assist is an initiative and network to help startups, corporates and other partners connect, with several events and of course watching basketball games together. One of those events is working overtime and help out the foundation of Beatrix Hospital. So how can the startups and partners help out? The foundation provided the teams with two different cases; increase the number of corporate friends and help get more regular sponsors.
Three teams worked on the first case of getting more companies to become friends. All three teams agree on the importance of branding. The first team suggests more tangible goals: “Instead of just saying you need to raise €10,000, tell people what you need. So instead of donating a certain amount of money, people could ‘buy’ a hospital bed with their donation, or an iPad. People are more likely to donate if it’s a more practical goal, rather than an abstract amount.”
The second team suggests a better online presence and a physical mascotte: “And don’t forget to use your ambassadors. A really simple video of people saying they support you, really helps with exposure. And instead of only focusing on big companies, why not ask SMEs to donate their time and expertise instead of money?” The team also suggests using students who could use some relevant volunteer work on resume.
Team 3 decided to incorporate the element of storytelling for better branding. “You could have kids here create their own avatar and share their story. Of course this needs to be somewhat anonymous because of privacy concerns, but it’s fairly simple to create something like an app that kids can use to make their own avatar. And having a face and a story would make donations more personal.”
More regular sponsors
The last two teams worked on coming up with ways to get more people to donate regularly. “Why not create more of a community?” team 4 suggests. “It could be a club with paid membership and because it’s a club, people would feel more obliged to get involved, because of the social aspect.”
Team 5 has a more ambitious plan and created a prototype app (cool sound effects included) in a matter of hours. “We thought a token system would really help. So when you donate, you get a certain amount of tokens, which you could then spend somewhere else, or get a discount in a store that also is part of your network.”
Even though it’s for charity, there’s a small prize for the teams with the best ideas. Barbara Baijens-Vrij, the fundraising coordinator for the foundation of Beatrix Children’s Hospital, is responsible for picking the winning teams for both challenges. “There are just so many great and practical ideas, it’s amazing! We’ll probably use suggestions and ideas from all teams. It’s difficult to pick winning teams, but I’m going to go with Team 2 and Team 4.”