St Michael’s Foun­da­tion Christ­mas Poster Cam­paign: Give the Gift 

Exhibited by
Lara Banks, vice-president, marketing and communications, St Michael’s Foundation
April 07, 2016
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
October 2015

SOFII’s view

The fundraisers at St Michael’s Hospital Foundation made the most of the festive season to drive more donor support to their capital appeal. This integrated campaign shows how they enticed donors to give to bricks and mortar by focusing on the compassion – and the people – behind their big build.

Summary / objectives

  • To promote St Michael’s Hospital.
  • To raise awareness and drive donor support for our $210 million Inspire 2018 campaign – which ultimately aimed to complete a new 17-storey patient care tower and a bigger, better emergency department.
  • To enhance the presence of St Michael’s across the hospital campus and continue working to become Canada’s premier critical care hospital.


St Michael’s Foundation raises funds for St. Michael’s Hospital, a Catholic teaching and research hospital in the downtown core of Toronto, Canada. Tax dollars pay for some healthcare services, but not all, so our fundraising efforts are critical.

The hospital is a major adult trauma centre as well as a hub for neurosurgery, complex cardiac and cardiovascular care, diabetes and osteoporosis care and minimally invasive surgery. We also care for the homeless and disadvantaged and are proud to be one of the province’s major hospitals for critically ill patients.

In April 2015, St Michael’s Hospital broke ground on a 17-storey patient care tower and a twice-as-large emergency department. This transformative project was supported by a $210-million campaign called Inspire 2018. In order to attract more donors to give their support to this important campaign, we developed Give the Gift.

Give the Gift was designed to raise awareness and strengthen donor support for our big build campaign during what is one of the best times of year for fundraising – the Christmas period.

Creator / originator

St Michael’s Foundation’s marketing and communications team developed the idea for Give the Gift. To take it from concept to completion, the team sourced and coordinated photo shoots with a range of hospital staff, physicians, donors, patients and families. We also worked closely with our external graphic designer to develop a series of concepts that combined photography and festive graphic design. 

Special characteristics

To focus our audience and attract potential donors, we created a unified Christmas poster campaign that would appear on TV screens, lit billboards and posters throughout the hospital and satellite clinics.

We chose taglines such as ‘Give the Gift of Health’ and ‘Give the Gift of Care’ and these were used to promote the campaign on the Foundation’s website as well as in direct mail and email. The website, in particular, featured a custom page wrapper and a takeover image to draw in visitors and drive them to donate online.

Our Give the Gift messaging also featured on seasonal e-cards for tributes and was included in the December e-newsletter – distributed to more than 11,000 subscribers. It appeared on the Foundation’s online campaign pages, in Foundation and Hospital ads/features and throughout much social media.

This all ran in tandem with our hospital-wide posters to attract prospective donors.

The design elements included visual components from the Inspire 2018 campaign, such as an over-sized ornament featuring the Inspire 2018 logo. 


Give the Gift helped generate $342,798 in web revenue during December 2015, compared to $290,398 in December 2014. That’s an 18 per cent jump year on year.

Influence / impact

Give the Gift was one of the final public internal campaigns during Inspire 2018. It helped garner the donations that would not only give us the final push towards our ambitious $210-million goal – but help us surpass it by more than $25 million. 


Our hospital-wide Christmas poster campaign was very successful in showing the importance of supporting St. Michael’s Hospital during the season of giving. It also drove people online to make their donations.

While the team found it challenging to coordinate photo shoots with staff, donors and patients on a tight deadline, we felt it was imperative that this campaign serve as a genuine reflection of the compassionate care St Michael’s Hospital is celebrated for.

Based on the feedback received, we believe our storytelling efforts truly translated to the intended audience – producing tangible results and successful fundraising.