Customer Stories

Q&A: Nyaya Health uses Asana to launch the Crowdfund Health Campaign

Nyaya Health is realizing the right to health for Nepal’s rural poor by delivering transparent, data-driven healthcare. In September, Nyaya won the Sappi Ideas That Matter Award, which came with a $42k prize and a massive challenge. Tasked with using the funds to run an advertising campaign, Nyaya needed an ambitious team with the right set of tools to develop, collaborate, and execute.

Many months in the making, Nyaya announced the launch of its global Crowdfund Health Campaign today. Mark Arnoldy, Executive Director at Nyaya Health, shares how Asana helped the team make it all happen.

What is the Crowdfund Health Campaign about?

We’ve provided care for more than 150k patients and employ over 160 Nepalis, but there is still so much more work to be done. The Sappi Ideas That Matter Award gave us the unique opportunity to bring awareness in a big way to a new standard of human connection and health care through crowdfunding.


We wanted to create an experience that embodies this human connection. We treat people that are largely invisible to the world. We built the crowdfunding program to connect these patients with people, yet we hadn’t allotted the patients the ability to tell their stories. Working with Robert Fogarty at Dear World, we were able to bring to life this idea of connectedness on some of the nation’s biggest city streets and subways. Our plan was to photograph our patients with their “Dear World” message, and share this image with everyday people who now have the ability to invest in our patients’ healthcare through crowdfunding.

To make this happen we had to collaborate overseas, coordinate patients, connect with sponsors, build out a huge volunteer and mailing strategy, and manage the execution of the campaign. This global campaign is our big chance to have a massive impact and change lives directly through healthcare.

Why did you turn to Asana?

Asana is the tool we’ve used to make crowdfunding work from day one. What we do is largely dependent on seamless communication from one side of the globe to the other. For example, one of our teammates, Sindhya Rajeev, is a Tufts medical student in Boston who collaborates with Nepali teammates. Sindhya essentially coordinates patient care with our crowdfunding partner Watsi on the ground in Nepal. Everything is assigned, tracked, and executed in Asana, including how to give a patient complex care in Katmandu, determine how to transfer that patient, get the diagnostics, handle payment, and do follow up. Without a tool like Asana this would be a logistical nightmare – perhaps even impossible.

We thought if we can manage patient care complexity through Asana, then we have no doubt that we could successfully use it to run a global campaign.

The success of the campaign depended on the collaboration of volunteers, companies, and media around the world, to ensure patients on the ground got identified and properly loaded onto the crowdfunding platforms. Using Asana, this happened at a rate of about 10x of what we were familiar with.

Specifically, how did you use Asana to execute the campaign?


We decided to use a single project with multiple Sections. At the highest level we had key benchmarks with due dates followed by all the details, including areas like design, advertising, volunteers, media printers, splash page development, patient profile loading, and matching funding exploration.

Following the lead of the Asana team, we defined our Areas of Responsibilities (AoRs) after creating all of our Sections using headers. Our team consists of about 4-6 people running this global campaign, so it was critical that we had clarity in our AoRs from the start.

To ensure that everyone was doing their part, we set a recurring task under each header to review our overall Section progress on a weekly basis. This helped to keep us honest in our focus and ensured that we were prepared for each phase of the campaign – helping us avoid the campaign phenomenon of asking for things or building lists too late.

Most importantly, Asana dramatically reduced email for the campaign. Almost all internal email related to the campaign was eliminated.

Outside of that, we’ve simply relied on email only for external communications with parties tied to the campaign.

Are there any ways you used Asana that you didn’t expect?

Using Asana to manage volunteer teams across multiple cities was unexpected. We brought on new team members and volunteers for temporary sprint work to deploy patient cards and other materials across New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and even my hometown Springfield, Missouri. Building this out in Asana was definitely a new experience for us.

We used Asana’s integration with Google Drive to crowdsource a list of people that would be willing to distribute the patient cards in high-yield areas in their communities. Then we set up a recurring task so that the teammate responsible for overseeing patient card distribution could manage recurring check-ins on the massive number of people that have built our Google Drive list.

How did Asana provide clarity to help you achieve this massive undertaking?

Asana has become our primary tool for bridging our global and Nepal-based teams to allow us to quickly scale-up the number of patients we placed on each of our crowdfunding partner’s sites in a very short amount of time. Given the complexity of the steps required to load patients onto partner sites, creating templates in Asana and using the duplicate task feature was essential to ensure we didn’t miss any steps in patient onboarding. We were able to move from uploading information for five patients per month on average, to over 50 in one month for the launch of this campaign. So we achieved more than a 10x gain in how many patients we sent to our partner’s crowdfunding pages. Without having a transparent system like Asana, it would have been nearly impossible to make sure each complex process stayed on track.

Mark Arnoldy is the Executive Director at Nyaya Health. Follow Nyaya Health on Twitter @nyayahealth and see their crowdfunding campaign at Crowdfundhealth.

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