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QCHF: Positioning for fundraising success


Queensway Carleton Hospital serves a city with many great medical and research facilities—and that means competition for donor dollars.  Public opinion and reputation research revealed that the QCH was either incorrectly seen as part of the multi-campus Ottawa Hospital or was known as Ottawa’s west end “community hospital,” a smaller and friendlier hospital known for senior care and orthopedic surgeries but not equipped for major emergencies or serious problems.

In both cases, these views posted barriers to attracting donors.  The research further uncovered that donors – particularly high-value corporate and individual donors – preferred to give to medical institutions that were seen as more vital, innovative and impactful.

Our strategy was to position QCH based on four important and distinct qualities:  a superior patient experience, the nimbleness of an independent hospital, innovative care programs and a large regional intake catchment.  These four distinct aspects positioned QCH as highly inventive, critical to filling major gaps in the region’s healthcare system and truly about patient care.

For donors, the intersection of a better care experience, targeted innovation and broad influence created a more relevant narrative.  A new positioning – Advancing Health. Advancing Carecombined the triple-stranded message and was supported by a messaging framework for each audience that elevated the brand to reflect QCH’s special role in the region’s healthcare landscape and create a greater sense of impact and legacy for donors.


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