The Children’s Medical Fund is the funding arm for the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, one of the highest profile children’s hospitals in the world. Cohen Children’s Medical Center holds an amazing two hundred and two beds and has served medical attention to 1.8 million children from Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk County area. Today, Cohen Children’s Medical Center is a nationally top-ranked children’s hospital, and CMFNY holds the proud distinction of being one of its single largest contributors. CMFNY has helped save thousands of children’s lives and made tens of thousands of other child patients and their families better able to cope at a time of serious illness.
With much success in the past generating donations, it was time for something new to get the community involved and excited about the work CMF does. The organization was looking for an innovative and fun way to engage donors and have them participate to see their donations in action, something the organization had not done in the past. This allows
Looking back at previous programs Children’s Medical Fund has implemented in the past, there was really no engagement with donors. Their generous dollars were used for items such as I-pads, gaming consoles toys, etc. or for “patient parties”. However, the donors were not able to witness the effects it had on the children and the emotional connection to those patients they were helping. Linx wanted to create that connection by allowing the donors to participate and see exactly how their donations were being put in action.
The goal was to create a program for CMF that could be developed for now and continue on for the next several years as well as being expanded throughout additional children’s hospitals.
Linx had the idea to develop an exciting new in-facility program called Heroes with Heart which would bring popular superheroes to the bedsides of thousands of sick children each year. When donations are made to CMF to support the Heroes with Heart program, donors will not only be helping a superhero deliver the joy and hope these children so desperately need, but they’ll be reminding them that when we help each other, we’re all superheroes.
The program would consist of tiered-level donation options for donors to choose
from that include a variety of superheroes to visit the children, as well as toy donations, ranging from $250 to $2,000.
In order to promote the new program, Linx created a plan for a full PR campaign, an email series, a new landing page on the CMF website, and a video to capture the program in action.
To create buzz around the new program, Linx and CMF hired actors to dress as superheroes at their annual golf outing (June 2017), where they held a live auction to introduce and support the new program. “Within a half an hour of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman appearing, the auction raised $38,000 to fund costumes, toys, and actors to play the heroes,” said Gina Segreti, executive director.
Following the program’s huge success at the golf outing, the official kick-off of the first Heroes with Heart event took place at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Six superheroes, including Spiderman, Iron Man and Wonder Woman visited Cohen Children’s Medical Center during their monthly “Patient Party”, interacted with the kids and their families, partook in activities such as games and crafts, took pictures and brought carts full of superhero toys to the patients. The children, their parents, and families were extremely appreciative. For the children who were not able to leave their rooms or beds due to more severe medical conditions, the heroes traveled to visit them so they were able to experience the fun and excitement. The entire event, as well as interviews with the patients, parents and CMF coordinators, was filmed by Linx, and edited into a montage of the day’s success capturing the true emotion behind the program.
Prior to the kickoff event, Linx had connected with Rubie’s Costume Company to help support the program, who generously donated six professional grade superhero costumes for the volunteers to wear and, later, over 100 children’s costumes for the children to wear on Halloween that year.
In order to continue the momentum of the program, during the holiday season Linx developed a campaign with a series of “Holiday Heroes” emails to continue the program support, raise awareness and bring in additional donations. The campaign brought in another $12,500 in donations.
Over time, we plan to explore ways to expand upon the program with other events under the Heroes with Heart brand, like a dinner event or gala fundraiser, ongoing fundraising efforts and, of course, the series of superhero visits to the hospital as a separate event or part of the exiting series of patient parties.