FYI Blog

8 Resolutions for Fundraisers in 2014

As we begin the new year, Avalon is encouraging our clients to share in some simple resolutions for nonprofits that we think you can actually keep. It’s all about a fresh start and forward thinking:


chalkboard resolutions


1. Trim the fat. Are inactive email subscribers weighing you down? Clean up your file by merging duplicates, attempting to re-engage subscribers and selectively suppressing unproductive segments to target your core list more effectively. You may be surprised to see the true performance metrics of your email subscriber list after dropping the dead wood.


2. Learn something new by digging into your data. Identify those donors who are most likely to give right now by finally developing that regression model to help predict which deep lapsed donors will re-engage.


3. Keep in better touch with friends. Communicate more meaningfully with your donors and supporters – implement low-cost cultivation ideas like email status updates and newsletters. Share stories about your work and how donor support impacts it. Call your donors just to say thank you. Systematically find ways to engage your supporters to make them feel more connected to your organization.


4. Save more money. Plan ahead by testing some tried-and-true strategies: try testing four-color versus one color; reduce the personalization and resulting matching costs by testing a window carrier instead of a closed-face envelope; design appeals and acquisition packages at the same time and take advantage of gang-printing cost savings; and research how to save money on postage costs.


5. Get organized and plan ahead. Take the time now to determine the health of your file, and organize your goals and priorities around it. Compile the reams of past performance data into useable benchmarks and “metrics for success” – how can past results inform future strategies?


6. Give back. Avalon gives its employees one work day per quarter to volunteer – consider how you can give back to your community with new initiatives like this simple donation of time.

7. Get mobile. No, we don’t mean stop being a couch potato. We do mean assessing your communications to ensure they’re mobile friendly. Adjust your email templates and landing pages to render well on mobile devices so your supporters can read – and respond – to your emails.


8. Try something new. Try a different format, a different ask, or different creative to push the envelope with your fundraising programs.


And for our part, Avalon resolves to continue to provide top-notch management for our clients, to help them reach their fundraising and marketing goals so they can best fulfill their missions. Want help getting started on your resolutions? Avalon is here for you. With Avalon Analytics that help you dig deeper into your file, Avalon’s Merlin reporting system that gets you organized, and seasoned fundraising strategists, we can put your organization on the right track for the new year.


Happy New Year!