Campaign Spotlight: Healing (and Giving) Hands

Marianne Aiello , August 19, 2009

Click to view larger version.Finger painting is generally an activity done by kindergarteners in a classroom with scaled-down furniture, not by physicians, employees, and volunteers in a hospital. But for Miller-Dwan Medical Center's foundation this childish activity was the perfect kick-off to its "You touch lives" campaign.

The Duluth, MN, foundation embarked on the internal communications campaign in an attempt to increase the number of employee donors. Working with Duluth ad agency H. T. Klatzky & Associates, the foundation created a brochure and poster promoting donations and featuring hand prints from the finger-painting event.

"We then took some of their handprints and incorporated them into our design," said H.T. Klatzky's Assistant Creative Director Diane Tobin in a case study. "This brochure detailed some of the year's highlights, as any annual report piece might do, but there was a twist—when unfolded, the piece turned into a beautiful, inspirational poster."

Since the campaign launched the Miller-Dwan Foundation has seen a 20% rise in donations and an increase in the number of donors.

"The posters are often seen hanging in offices and around the facility; and activities like the finger painting attracted dozens of participants," Tobin said. "Normally, only about 25% of nonprofit foundation employees give to their employer; at the Miller-Dwan Foundation, it's 48%."

Marianne Aiello is an editor with HealthLeaders Media. She may be reached at

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