Young girl pretending to be a superhero

The SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of the Hospital for Sick Children, a world-leading health care, teaching and research centre dedicated to children. SickKids is the largest children’s charity in Canada. In 2016 the charity invested $137 million in child health research, education and clinical care.

  • “Environics Analytics gave us a unique lens to understand our donors and determine the best way to invest our fundraising dollars. It’s one thing to buy an ad that asks for money; it’s another to have a person tell your story in a way that touches the heart of your audience. Our donors are as diverse as the colours of the rainbow. But without this information in where to start, we couldn’t have been successful.”

    —Vice President of Major Gifts | SickKids Foundation

Icon for challenge section



The Greater Toronto Area is one of the most ethnically diverse markets in Canada, which makes it challenging for a not-for-profit foundation like SickKids to adopt a single marketing strategy that could connect with such a broad audience. Determined to turn that challenge into an opportunity, SickKids sought to better understand the area’s culturally diverse groups and their propensity to donate money supporting children’s health. The goal: to develop a multicultural fundraising plan that would more fully engage ethnic communities and expand the SickKids’ donor base. 




The first step is data research

We profiled the SickKids database of 266,000 donors according to ethnic groups, financial asset size and potential for giving using a variety of datasets. OriginsCanada, which predicts Canadians cultural, ethnic and linguistic origins based on first and last name, helped profile donors among more than 20 groups. Next we turned to WealthScapes to examin the wealth of each group. Finally, using HouseholdSpend and the Opticks Vividata datasets we were able to determine how much money Canadians were donating to charities and assessed their propensity to donate to hospitals.

  • Financial Profiling
  • Data Mining
  • Custom segmentation


The second step is analytics

Using the more than 20 existing donor group profiles, incorporating ethnicity, wealth and propensity to donate, the SickKids development team was able to construct their potential donor base within different ethnic groups. They were able to identify more than 1.5 million potential donors in the Chinese and South Asian community alone.

  • Cultural Diversity
  • Visualization and Reporting
  • AccultuRates


Step three is actionable outcomes

SickKids identified and targeted specific ethnic communities with individually tailored fundraising messaging and events. Equipped with a detailed portrait of area multicultural populations, the organization was able to determine which groups and which community events to focus of their engagement efforts on.

  • Communications Planning
  • Integrated Campaign and Content Management
  • Campaign Response Management

Icon for results section


SickKids has embraced its new strategy for connecting with multicultural communities. The foundation moved from a reactive to adopting a proactive approach, where they now engage in social media to increase awareness and solicit speaking opportunities to publicize the hospitals important work. The data showed that one of the most effective ways to reach the Chinese community was by connecting with them through local events, which helped the foundation develop its marketing strategy. The foundation launched a Chinese website, held a “Radiothon” that highlighted the medical challenges of a three-year-old neonatal patient (dubbed a “patient ambassador”) and established a story bank for media features, offering first-person accounts of the hospital’s work from patients, doctors and researchers.




More Case Studies

Young couple admiring new General Motors car

General Motors

To better understand its urban buyers General Motors created a local segmentation model, which informed the automakers' marketing and sales strategy in Toronto.

Professional woman texting on her smartphone


Using customer segmentation and personification TELUS was able to create a more consistent customer experience across its physical and digital channels.

Young girl pretending to be a superhero

SickKids Foundation

Using data and analytics SickKids Foundation was able to develop a multicultural fundraising plan to engage ethnic communities and expand its donor base.