Case Studies

University Hospital Foundation

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
University Hospital initially wanted a feasibility study for a neurosciences campaign. After realizing board members didn’t understand what that meant and why the initial equipment list was worth raising money for, Wilson interviewed 12 of the doctors and researchers and suggested rebranding the campaign to The Brain Centre Campaign.

After shaping the pitch deck and testing it through personal readiness interviews, the quiet phase of the campaign started with the campaign co-chair offering a million gift which was soon matched by his co-chair. This $35 million campaign was off to fast start.

The organizational capacity aspect of the campaign action plan called for the hiring of a full-time major gift officer and administrative assistant dedicated to the Brain Campaign. During the first startup year of the campaign Wilson spent 5 to 10 days a month on site to help organize and staff the campaign cabinet, train and direct the campaign staff, and help strategize lead gift closing strategies.

The complexity of brain care services and the lack of understanding by prospective donors meant that ongoing brain leadership briefings and hospital tours would be needed. After 6 years of campaigning with consistent consulting on the campaign and on all aspects of University Hospital Foundation the campaign celebrated victory having raised $70 million.

Our success came through the confluence of a medical visionary, Dr. Keith Aronyk, who gave his time and helped involve many other clinicians; a foresighted foundation staff leader, Joyce Mallman Law; and a great campaign cabinet led by co-chairs Jim Brown and Guy Scott.

Campaign co-chair Guy Scott stated:
“Tom Wilson’s infectious enthusiasm, respect, knowledge, intelligence, energy, quick smile, and sense of humor have made him my good friend whom I will remember fondly. Never an ill word. Never a can’t do. Always a timely positive reply. With Tom’s encouragement our campaign achieved a tremendous outcome.”

UHF President Joyce Mallman Law added:
“I heard Tom speak at an AHP conference 10 years ago his about his wonderful book, Winning Gifts. Through your skillful support and guidance, wisdom and good humor, the Brain Centre Campaign raised over $70 million. Tom, you were a big part of our success, thank you.”

In addition to campaign counsel, Wilson provided new board members orientation to the campaign, provided interim management as staff transitions took place, provided personal coaching to members of the Foundation staff (even if they were not involved in the campaign), worked with the President to reflect on strategic issues for all of the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, and worked with clinicians over time to sharpen their personal Brain Campaign stories.

Wilson has presented at numerous fundraising conferences in Canada and the States with Joyce Law and other members of her staff and foundation board.

Overlake Hospital Foundation

Bellevue, Washington
A new patient tower plus heart operating rooms and an expansion of the mental health unit meant a $50 million capital campaign. Wilson was brought in to help shape the case pitch deck, facilitate focus groups involving more than 100 prospective donors, conduct readiness interviews, and create a campaign operating plan.

The two-days per month campaign consultancy has continued throughout the past 3 years; Campaign FutureCare has raised $33.5 million + so far.

Consulting services include helping staff the campaign cabinet, continual updating of the case deck, executive producing video segments for the deck, strategizing next moves with leadership gift prospective donors, providing strategy counsel to foundation leader Molly and the campaign director Stephanie, providing individualized coaching to members of the Foundation staff (even if not directly involved in the campaign), and providing a sounding board for the chief development officer.

Molly Stearns, Chief Development Officer noted:
“Thanks for the sound advice; numerous revisions of our case deck, interviews, videos, staff mentoring sessions, shared scar tissue, and thinking big.”

Eastern Oregon University

La Grande, Oregon
Tom Wilson has worked with Eastern Oregon University in a variety of roles over the past 12 years – planning and helping implement their first ever capital campaign, foundation board retreat facilitation, staff coaching, working with deans, athletic director, and coaches to improve their fundraising, and now working again with EOU on their second campaign.

America Glaucoma Society Foundation

San Francisco, California
This highly successful medical specialty group wanted to do more philanthropically but needed an assessment of the best way to proceed. Tom Wilson conducted the assessment and provided recommendations for hiring a senior, ½-time chief philanthropy officer. Hired to run the search and to provide interim services, a terrific person was hired and is implementing a robust fundraising program.