FYI Blog

A Strong Year-end Finish

Last year, we saw the Trump Bump of 2017 morph into a bit of a Trump Slump of 2019 for marketers and nonprofits. So we were thrilled to see our clients’ supporters wholeheartedly respond to our year-end campaigns to end 2019 on an encouraging note.

All but one of Avalon’s clients saw an increase in revenue at year end. Our initial excitement over strong Giving Tuesday results gave way to concern that it would negatively affect year-end giving—but not to worry! Although a number of our clients saw softer returns on New Year’s Eve compared to previous years, the slew of donations on Giving Tuesday more than made up for any December 31st shortfall.

We’ve also seen a trend of email revenue declining at year end, but this year, revenue from other digital sources really stepped up to lead the charge—lightboxes, homepage takeovers, digital ads, and other techniques were major factors in our year-end success.

Matching gifts remained huge incentives—contributing to the urgency and value proposition that compelled donors to give. For most of our clients, we stepped up the number of emails we sent, but the real key was that the emails performed significantly better, thanks in large part to those matching gift offers, solid messaging, and a variety of techniques.

One concern on our radar screen was the potential negative impact of new tax laws—but the strong stock market and consumer confidence outweighed the effect of those laws.

Giving Tuesday has evolved from a post-Black Friday redemptive act for some over-spenders, to become a critical year-end strategic focus and real source of revenue for nonprofits. Digital rules year-end as marketers are able to use myriad approaches to motivate donors to be altruistic in the season of giving. This sets us up nicely for a productive Election Year, when donors—we hope—are more engaged, paying attention, and giving.