Inspire 2018: St Michael’s Foundation 2015/16 annual report

Exhibited by
Lara Banks, vice president, marketing and communications, St Michael’s Foundation
May 25, 2017
Medium of Communication
Donor stewardship
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
July 2016

SOFII’s view

St Michael's Foundation wanted to show their recognition and gratitude to their donors, as well as tell the story of the great work they were doing. The annual report, named Inspire 2018 was a great and informative way to do this, and it's great to see an organisation take the time and effort to produce a really great report. With great contents and stories, the report was inspirational for donors, and it immediately paid dividends for the Foundation.

Summary / objectives

  • To promote and raise awareness of St Michael’s Hospital and Foundation.
  • To demonstrate donor support and inspire giving.
  • To thank donors through formal recognition.
  • To recognise St Michael’s staff and volunteers who are partners in fundraising.
  • To keep stakeholders informed about key successes and achievements from the past year and provide an update on the future of St Michael’s.
  • To demonstrate fiscal responsibility and stewardship of resources to enhance transparency and openness.
  • To tell the story of St Michael’s in a creative and visually appealing way.


St Michael’s Foundation inspires greatness through giving. Through various philanthropic activities, the Foundation assists St Michael’s Hospital with securing the resources it needs to fulfill its mission of providing compassionate care and advancing science through research and education.

The support of generous, committed donors is behind the ongoing success of St Michael’s. To keep these key stakeholders informed about the impact their support has on the Hospital, the Foundation produces an annual report that highlights key achievements from the past year and the ways in which donors and other stakeholders can continue to be a part of building the future of St Michael’s.

The annual report is an essential tool to promote the Foundation and the Hospital; thank various stakeholders for their ongoing support; demonstrate the impact of giving and inspire future donations and build trust by sharing information about finances and stewardship.

The Foundation’s 2015/16 annual report weaves key facts from the landmark Inspire 2018 fundraising campaign – that achieved a record-breaking $235 million for St Michael’s – with touching patient stories that highlight the Hospital’s delivery of exceptional care. 

The target audiences for the annual report include:

  • Donors and potential donors.
  • Patients, families and visitors.
  • Hospital physicians and staff.
  • Volunteers.
  • Board of directors.
  • Ministry of Health and long-term care.
  • Local health integration networks and other health care partners.
  • Local community within our catchment area.
  • Media.

Creator / originator

The marketing and communications (M & C) team at St Michael’s Foundation created the publication with support from an outside design agency. The M & C team provided overall creative direction, developed original content and oversaw photoshoots for the report.

Special characteristics

The 2015/16 annual report is a tribute to the Foundation’s incredibly successful Inspire 2018 fundraising campaign in support of the Hospital’s redevelopment project, St Michael’s 3.0.

The Foundation raised an astonishing $235 million – far surpassing the campaign’s $210 million target – to support Hospital priorities, including the building of a new 17-storey patient care tower, other crucial Hospital renovations, equipment purchases and new research and education chairs. Contributions from many donors across the giving spectrum allowed us to reach this goal.

Inspire 2018 is a significant accomplishment in St Michael’s history and the 2015/16 annual report is just one way we are celebrating this major milestone. 

The report features custom illustrations by Ian Bilbey – a celebrated British illustrator – of key Hospital assets, such as the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower, currently under construction. As existing renderings of construction and renovation projects had been used frequently in donor publications, a fresh approach was needed to provide interest. The team chose to show the tower and selected patient care areas through illustrations. The helicopter icon is used throughout the publication to symbolise the Hospital’s well-known helipad and signify excellence in trauma and critical care at St Michael’s. Full-page original photographs are woven throughout the report and act as an accompaniment to poignant stories that detail the real-life experiences of St Michael’s patients. Illustrations linked these stories with the new spaces in the tower, highlighting the impact on care that the new facilities, created through donor investment, would have.

The report offers a great opportunity to reflect on the fundraising campaign that has just been completed – over target – and honour those who had been critical to its resounding success.

The 2015/16 annual report is a crucial marketing communications and stewardship tool that not only showcases the exceptional care provided at the Hospital, but also demonstrates the immense gratitude of patients and the unwavering commitment of St Michael’s donors, friends and volunteers.

An illustrated teaser video sharing the annual report’s theme was developed to support the print publication. The video and an electronic version of the report are available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel and website to reach a broader audience.

Influence / impact

The report was mailed to over 4,000 donors, which includes members of our annual and mid-level giving programmes who make gifts of $250 or more throughout the course of the year. The report is also sent to our board of directors, physicians and staff. The response we garnered from this annual report is extremely positive, with donors and board members alike praising its originality and freshness. From a financial standpoint this publication is also extremely successful, bringing in nearly $29,000 in revenue for St Michael’s. 


We are incredibly proud of our 2015/16 annual report, Inspire 2018, as it demonstrates our ability to continue to set the creative bar higher with every original publication we develop. This report demonstrates a unique visual approach to donor communications and still fulfills our primary objectives of raising awareness of St. Michael’s, promoting fundraising initiatives and inspiring future giving.

Our donors are crucial to what we do and we want them to know that. As a result, we thank them for their support as often and in as many ways as we can. We believe this annual report demonstrates our remarkable recognition and stewardship efforts and, therefore, merits a place in SOFII.