Social Impact

Spreading Joy And Laughter In Healthcare

Designing a fundraising strategy for a clown doctoring nonprofit to foster corporate collaborations — and spread joy.

Clown doctoring is a therapeutic approach where performers, known as clown doctors, visit hospitals and healthcare facilities to interact with patients, particularly children, using humor and playful activities. Clown doctors are not your typical healthcare professionals — they trade stethoscopes for squirting flowers and serious frowns for smiles. They are trained experts in bringing joy to hospital wards and reducing patient anxiety, which in turn promotes healing and improves emotional wellbeing. Clown doctors also help support families and provide joyful distraction in what can be an unpleasant or stressful environment. However, even clowns need a strategic plan.

Dachverband Clowns in Medizin und Pflege Deutschland e.V. serves as an umbrella organization for clown doctoring in Germany. Its 19 regional member associations conduct almost 19,000 clown visits per year in hospitals and care facilities across Germany. The organization helps its members through an array of offerings, from quality assurance of the professional artistic work to mutual exchange opportunities and project funding.

At all times, the team reconciled the high level of professionalism and clarity required for successful fundraising with the individuality and colorfulness inherent in our organization. Thank you very much!
Elisabeth Makepeace-Vondrak, Chairperson, Dachverband Clowns

Despite its extensive coverage across Germany, Dachverband Clowns often struggled with funding income. For this reason, Oliver Wyman was asked to define a fundraising strategy and implementation plan for corporate donors. Over six weeks, the teams jointly defined Dachverband Clowns’ USPs and value proposition, identified promising corporate donors, and created an outreach toolkit.

This project helped Dachverband Clowns approach businesses more structured and professionally. By activating the member associations through interviews and at the biannual general assembly, Oliver Wyman also made way for a new organizational structure. The changes were well received, making Dachverband Clowns and its members feel more valued and confident about getting the support they need.

This project positively impacted the wellbeing and recovery of patients and elderly care residents in Germany. Our client can now develop a comprehensive set of fundraising partners to join and support this cause
Dr Nils Naujok, Partner, Oliver Wyman
I am grateful to have been part of this project, which has taught me the importance and power of healing through laughter. We are proud to have contributed to bringing even more joy and laughter to patients in the future
Anna Schedlberger, Senior Consultant, Oliver Wyman