From navigating the hallways of MD Anderson's vast campus in Houston to connecting with fellow patients and cancer survivors around the world, thousands turn to the internet for a quick and easy way to get the information they need. Over the years, "getting" has paved the way for "giving" through MD Anderson's e-Philanthropy program.
"Our patients are very driven by our digital experience," says Tiffany Dunn, executive director for Development for MD Anderson's e-Philanthropy program. "We needed to have a presence on the internet as people move more and more toward mobile devices."
e-Philanthropy encompasses a wide range of online activities related to giving, including fundraising emails, social media, the "give now" button on mdanderson.org and more.
"As our e-philanthropy efforts have evolved, so have our segmentation and use of various digital channels," says Dunn.
In 2013, her team launched a proactive direct digital effort that started with an email program.
"It quickly moved into more advanced directions, such as donation page optimization, search engine marketing, digital display and social media, through integration with our marketing and communications teams," she says.
MD Anderson's e-philanthropy program raised more than $8.4 million to support cancer research and patient care programs. Revenue has increased 23% year-over-year, with number of gifts up 12%. But Dunn stresses it's about more than dollars.
"e-Philanthropy is a critical way for us to share information on patient care, research, prevention and education," she says.
Plans are to expand further into the digital space in the near future. A peer-to-peer fundraising site is planned, for example, to enable friends of MD Anderson to set up fundraising pages to help support the institution's mission to end cancer.