Young girl pretending to be a superhero looking out onto the city

The SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of the Hospital for Sick Children, a world-leading health care, teaching and research center dedicated to children. SickKids is the largest children’s charity in Canada.

“Environics Analytics gave us a unique lens to understand our donors and determine the best way to invest our fundraising dollars. It’s one thing to buy an ad that asks for money; it’s another to have a person tell your story in a way that touches the heart of your audience. Our donors are as diverse as the colours of the rainbow. But without this information in where to start, we couldn’t have been successful.”

—Vice President of Major Gifts | SickKids Foundation


The Greater Toronto Area is one of the most ethnically diverse markets in Canada, which makes it challenging for a non-profit foundation like SickKids to adopt a single marketing strategy that could connect with such a broad audience. Determined to turn that challenge into an opportunity, SickKids sought to better understand the area’s culturally diverse groups and their propensity to donate money supporting children’s health. The goal: to develop a multicultural fundraising plan that would more fully engage ethnic communities and expand the SickKids’ donor base. 



    The first step is data research

    The SickKids database of 266,000 donors was profiled according to ethnic groups, financial asset size and potential for giving. OriginsCanada—which predicts cultural, ethnic and linguistic origins—helped profile donors among more than 20 groups. WealthScapes was used to examine the wealth of each group and HouseholdSpend and Opticks powered by Vividata were used to determine the level of donations and propensity to donate.

    • Financial Profiling
    • Data Mining
    • Custom Segmentation


    The second step is analytics

    By using the more than 20 existing donor group profiles, the SickKids development team was able to identify their potential donor base within different ethnic groups. Through this process, they were able to identify more than 1.5 million potential donors in the Chinese and South Asian community alone.

    • Cultural Diversity
    • Visualization and Reporting
    • AccultuRates


    Step three is actionable outcomes

    By building a detailed portrait of multicultural populations, SickKids was able to identify and target specific ethnic communities with individually tailored fundraising messaging and events. As a result, the organization was able to deploy its engagement efforts on specific groups and community events in a more efficient and effective manner.

    • Communications Planning
    • Integrated Campaign and Content Management
    • Campaign Response Management


SickKids has embraced its new strategy for connecting with multicultural communities. By using data and analytics, the foundation has been able to adopt a more proactive approach to their fundraising campaigns, which includes using social media to increase awareness and soliciting speaking opportunities to publicize the hospital's important work. The data showed that one of the most effective ways to reach the Chinese community was by connecting with them through local events, which helped the foundation develop its marketing strategy. The foundation launched a Chinese website, held a “Radiothon” that highlighted the medical challenges of a three-year-old neonatal patient (dubbed a “patient ambassador”). SickKids also established a story bank for media features, offering first-person accounts of the hospital’s work from patients, doctors and researchers.



Back to top