Nonprofit PR Campaign of the Year

Hospital for Sick Children’s innovative exhibit draws visitors to a deadly serious experience

The hospital, along with No Fixed Address, wins the Grand Prize for Nonprofit PR Campaign of the Year in PR Daily’s 2020 Nonprofit PR Awards for its efforts to raise funds fora new hospital.

SickKids Airbnb - Logo -

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto faced a daunting goal: raise $400 million more to build a new hospital. To grab attention while simultaneously making people care about a problem that had provoked mostly apathy, the team created an experience, transforming an unused conference room into a precise replica of the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

The three-hour experience featured a soundscape and live reenactments featuring SickKids doctors, nurses, and voice recordings from families. The PICU was listed on Airbnb (at $16,744, the cost to operate a four-patient room in the PICU for one night). Local and national media were among the notable Torontonians invited to the space. Local personalities linked to the hospital served as the basis for online videos to further raise awareness. The campaign produced significant top-tier media coverage, a 27% increase in donations, and the Airbnb listing produced over 26,000 visits. 

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