Cité de la Santé Foundation

Healthy mindset


Canada Post helps hospital foundation diagnose and cure what ailed its donor targeting campaign.

Unlocking to new donors

Despite Laval Integrated Health and Social Services Centre serving Quebec’s third-largest city of 443,000 people, the donor pool for its foundation was shrinking. Certainly, that is not a unique position for many not-for-profits. Courting donor dollars is an increasingly challenging pursuit in a competitive landscape, as marketing to donors gets more expensive and less effective.

The Cité de la Santé Foundation needed a way to connect with new audiences and create new donors.

Finding a #ProfoundlyHuman solution

In Summer 2020, the foundation launched its #ProfoundlyHuman campaign attempting to reach donors through the stories of medical professionals. That initial campaign did not deliver the desired results, however.

A thorough examination found some areas to address and improved upon: timing (June, just a few months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic); format (a flyer); and targeting (too broad). Seeking a better way, the foundation team turned to Canada Post.

Targeting the next generation

The foundation needed a clearer picture of who they wanted to talk to – what did their ideal donor look like and where could they find them.

Using the foundation’s first-party data, combined with the PRIZM segmentation system from Environics Analytics, Canada Post discovered four profile segments that matched the look of current donors. These segments revealed the geographic, demographic, and even behavioural tendencies of the audience.

Armed with that information, Canada Post Precision TargeterTM and data visualization pointed the way toward Laval neighbourhoods rich with potential donors matching the selected PRIZM profiles. That targeting data was also used to pinpoint the best opportunities for out-of-home advertising (e.g., locating the best bus shelter locations for an urban poster campaign).

In the meantime, the original creative concept and format for the mail piece were reviewed. Embracing the #ProfoundlyHuman theme, the generic leaflet was replaced with a letter from a young cancer survivor-turned-campaign volunteer. A predictive eye-tracking analysis confirmed the effectiveness of the new creative.

Supported by radio, billboards, and social media, the direct mail campaign was relaunched – and the results couldn’t have been more striking.

Delivering healthy results

The targeted campaign was perfect for fundraising success. When compared to the previous campaign, this new strategy
resulted in increases of 810% in the number of donors and 880% in the amount of donations. All total, the foundation grew its average donation by 7.6%. “With the average donor lifetime value estimated at $273, every new donor helps stabilize our long-term funding,” said Samira Gouzi, foundation philanthropic development director.

The campaign also connected on a human level. The foundation received more than 1,000 handwritten notes from donors; they were digitized and sent out to the 13,000 health network employees. It was moving for staff to see the impact of their efforts.

“They say digital’s strength is its ability to start a conversation. But we have realized that direct mail can do that, too!” explained Christine Girard, foundation communications director. “I perceived direct mail as a little old fashioned. But this campaign showed me how it could give you a degree of precision, closeness, and engagement that we didn’t get with digital.”

Campaign at a glance

When: October to December 2021
Market: Laval
Services: Neighbourhood Mail
Targeting: Precision Targeter, data visualization, PRIZM segmentation
Other technologies: Predictive Eye Tracking, QR codes


  • New donor +810%
  • Conversion rate 144%
  • Donation amount +880%
  • Average donation 7.6%

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