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Posted September 16, 2014

Compassionate care for all patients: delivering the 2014 annual appeal for Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Founded over 117 years ago — originally as “The Passavant Woman’s Aid Society” — the Woman’s Board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of Chicago’s oldest charitable organizations. The organization originally worked to provide free healthcare to underprivileged individuals at Passavant Memorial Hospital, a predecessor of Northwestern Memorial.

Nowadays, the Woman’s Board raises millions annually to enhance the quality of patient care, research, community service, and education, most recently with special attention paid to HIV and cancer patients. The Board’s impact is huge, making high-quality healthcare a reality for many patients with few or no alternatives.

Last year, the Woman’s Board took a significant step by helping to launch NMDTI (Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute). The Institute is focused on creating a more rapid and direct path from laboratory discovery to therapeutic studies designed to improve the treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses. In 2013, the Woman’s Board made a five-year, $2 million pledge to support this ground-breaking research program, and recently funded NMDTI’s first five fellows.

In April, we met with Marleana Cross and the Annual Appeal Co-Chairs — Jessica Nielsen, Ginevra Ranney, and Sarah Eberhard — to discuss plans for 2014 fundraising. They were passionate about the Board’s current focus, and were intent on translating their energy and commitment into a high-impact mailer emphasizing compassionate care and personal stories.

We had a great experience brainstorming with Marleana, Jessica, Ginevra, and Sarah, and were able to quickly envision the kind of bold gatefold design they were seeking. The mail campaign would be reinforced by a personalized email campaign and matching campaign landing page on their website.

The 2014 annual appeal was designed to show how far the Woman’s Board and NMDTI had come already, after only a year, and to prompt major donations based on upcoming milestones. By the end of 2016, a world-class Phase I clinical trial program will have brought multiple new therapies to patients and have changed the outlook for multiple cancers and diseases that share therapeutic targets with cancer.