The Bloomies are our award for outstanding donor communications in the nonprofit sector. Each week, we’ll feature a newsletter, email, direct mail piece, acknowledgement, solicitation or social media post that caught our eye.

Nominated by: Tom Ahern

Tell us about the fundraiser and/or organization you are nominating:

Stephanie Highfield of Humber River Hospital Foundation.

Humber River Hospital Foundation supports the patient care provided at Humber River Hospital – one of the largest hospitals in the greater Toronto area and soon to be home to North America’s first fully digital hospital.

Tell us about the piece you are nominating:

This Bloomie nomination is for an incredible leap forward into the corny by Agents of Good, a boutique agency serving nonprofits, located near Toronto, Canada. The client: Humber River Hospital Foundation. The project: introducing donors to Humbert, the so-called “custodian of donor care,” a mascot created as part of the hospital’s campaign to “build North America’s first fully digital hospital.”

Humbert was drawn by Agent John Lepp. Humbert is meant to offer something warm and easy to like and donor-centered during a campaign that has a lot of technical detail.



Why do you think they are deserving of a Bloomie?

I interviewed the Humber Foundation folks, in preparation for a 15-minute talk sponsored by SOFII at the AFP International Fundraising Conference.

SOFII asked me to pick the best thing I’d seen in a year. Humbert was easily the neatest new idea because he flies directly in the face of the stuffy instincts institutions often prefer. He is everything Jeff Brooks recommends in his book, The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications (p98):

In fact, through close observation, fundraisers have discovered three “Design Laws” — practices that, if we follow them well, encourage our fundraising messages to bear fruit. Those laws are: (1) Make it plain. (2) Make it corny. (3) Make it obvious.

Stephanie at The Humber Foundation was willing to take a risk on an idea like Humbert because, “With the new campaign, things were changing. We needed to find the heart of the hospital. That’s Humbert. He’s meant to be warm and fuzzy.”


We don’t see nearly enough risk-taking in donor communications. Hence, my nomination for a Bloomie.

Know someone deserving of a Bloomie? You can nominate someone here >>

Kristen Salmon

Kristen Salmon

Product Manager at Bloomerang
Kristen Salmon is a Product Manager at Bloomerang. Kristen holds a Master of Public Affairs degree with concentrations in Nonprofit Management and Policy Analysis from Indiana University Bloomington and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Oklahoma State University. She also worked for two years as a Research Assistant in grad school on the multi-year Indiana Nonprofits: Scope and Community Dimensions project.