St Michael’s Hospital Foundation: a special book to thank volunteers

Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
November, 2009

SOFII’s view

Fundraisers all too often take their volunteers for granted so it's good to see an organisation setting out specifically to be brilliant at saying thank you to them. Having raised $140 million thanks to the help of volunteers it was reasonable that the people at St Michael's should invest time and resources in saying thank you properly. But they also invested some thought and creativity too, to produce a really special way of thanking a very special group of donors.

Creator / originator

St Michael's Hospital Foundation working with the design firm Scott Thornley + Company

Summary / objectives

The key objective of this piece was to thank the volunteers who helped the Foundation raise $140 million in our most recent campaign. As one of many Toronto hospitals looking to raise money on an on-going basis, we depend on our volunteers to open doors, make the necessary connections and act as advocates for the hospital. Because they choose to help us and put in many hours without remuneration, it is essential that they are properly thanked and recognised for all they do to benefit St Michael's.


Volunteers traditionally receive 'something' – a plaque, a citation, a small piece of sculpture – as recognition at the conclusion of a fundraising campaign. We wanted to do something different.

We developed the idea of a book that would dramatise the impact of their work for the hospital in areas of patient care, research and education. It would be something they could display in their offices, or on coffee tables and would want to show to friends and colleagues.

Special characteristics

This hard-cover special volume was produced in a limited edition for presentation to campaign volunteers only. Despite its appearance, it was cost-effective because we re-used existing photography originally taken for our 2009 annual report and material used in our special campaign-wrap newsletter.

It was also cost-effective as we worked with a company that specialises in producing e-photo-books at low cost for low volume.


We had extremely positive feedback from the volunteers who received it. One said that it was the nicest recognition piece she had ever received. We have plans to develop similar ways to look after donors.


This is a unique and personal piece of recognition and stewardship. It is 'something that money can't buy'.

Because it won't just be hung on a wall or put on a shelf, but shared with others, we see it as a piece of on-going communication and a way of spreading the St Michael's story further.

Other relevant information

In 40 detailed illustrated pages St Michael's Hospital spells out its gratitude to volunteers and shows them what they have achieved. See St Michael's newsletter here.