KGH Foundation

Health Care Has to Change. It’s Closer to Home Than You Think.

Services: Campaign Strategy, Messaging, Copywriting (website), Cases for Support

The Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Kelowna General Hospital, was launching their most ambitious campaign in KGH Foundation history.

They wanted to raise $40 million over a three-year period to advance a new era in healthcare for the Southern Interior of British Columbia.

It came a fraught time for KGH — and health care in general. A post-COVID environment left people tried, frustrated and angry at the healthcare system. While Canada has a national healthcare system, it’s the regional hospitals and clinics who raise money to cover the gap between the true costs and what the provincial and national government will pay. There is little allocated for innovation.

The Foundation came to Crew Marketing Partners looking for a campaign. They needed a narrative strategy to cover the three years that would shift the CTA as they got closer to their fundraising goal. When I came on board, all we had was a title: Closer to Home Than You Think.

I was asked to work on this on Tuesday …. for a Thursday presentation.

I worked all night and wrote out the strategic framework. It started with the truth: Health care has to change. COVID showed that. Once you convince folks about change, how do you invoke that change in a way that brings people together?

The campaign anchors in the Foundation’s overall vision (World Class Care, Close to Home) while providing a creative tension with our audiences. 

This campaign is about fundraising but it’s also about creating a space to address these thoughts and emotions. We want to fund change and change hearts and minds. 

Addressing that tension brings urgency. If world-class care is closer than I think, then how do we bring it here faster? That’s the call to action we were seeking. 


The strategy provided them with a comprehensive approach on how to move from holistic persuasion to conversion persuasion. Messaging pillars guided the overall campaign, while each category (cancer care, women’s health, etc.) had distinct messaging goals.

That strategy converted to a new landing page plus adapting their initial campaign video to match the new strategy. In addition, I wrote the first drafts on 11 (!) Cases for Support. (That wasn’t all done by Thursday, BTW. But it was a quick turnaround.)

The Foundation loved the strategy but what I’m most proud of is what you see below. A giant banner that Kali Ekeli and I designed and wrote for them. Health Care Has to Change. In this case, you tell the truth.

(Photo care of Vernon Matters. You can read more about the campaign kickoff here).

As of May 2024 and one year into the campaign, they’ve raised more than $20 million, including a $5 million donation from the Jim Pattison Foundation. And the campaign got a shoutout in Canadian parliament.

Credits:
Agency: Crew Marketing Partners
Chief Creative Officer: Gerald Schoenhoff
Accounts team: Josh Cairns, Daniel Alfred
Senior Designer: Kali Ekeli
Writer: Mike Plunkett