As a consultant, I love a good benchmark. Give me a hot-off-the presses report and I devour it immediately. But as a savvy fundraiser, I must share this PSA with the nonprofit world: You are NOT average. You MUST dig into the data behind industry benchmarks. The problem with averages is that they aggregate performance […]Read More
To approach thinking about creative in a different way, Avalon developed a Thinking Creatively: Streaming Series. This group participates in sessions curated by our former Chief Strategy Officer and frequent collaborator, Jenny Phillips. We meet quarterly and review content ahead of time like short videos, documentaries, brief articles, and thought pieces. The group comes ready […]Read More
My preteen son is 12—staring down (and trying on) his teenage years. Since he’s my oldest and this is a bit of uncharted territory, I’ve been reading up on how to best support him through this tumultuous time. If you Google teens and peers, you’ll get findings and advice from thousands of sources, from WebMD to […]Read More
donorCentrics is out with its always-fascinating index of direct marketing giving for the first three quarters of 2017. The headline tells the story: Post-Election and Disaster Giving Drive Strong Growth in First Three Quarters of 2017. It covers gifts from direct mail, web, telemarketing, and other direct marketing channels to 70 organizations comprising more than […]Read More
As direct marketing fundraisers, we’re always keenly aware of the impact our clients have on the world around us and eager to support them in multiple ways. While our support is usually provided in the form of fundraising strategy that produces critical revenue needed to achieve their missions, we also frequently volunteer with our clients […]Read More
Avalon was proud to be a sponsor of the League of Women Voters’ National Convention earlier this month: Making Democracy Work…For All.
In this particularly volatile political environment, the League of Women Voters stands out as a hugely effective, nonpartisan champion of informed and active participation in government. And it was quite an honor for me to attend the convention and see its 800 leaders put those principles into action.
Making Democracy Work…For All was a wonderful mix of grassroots organizing, networking, leadership training, and in-depth discussion about priority issues—all carrying forward the League’s 96-year history of fighting to improve our government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives.
Arising from the movement to secure the right to vote for women, the League remains dedicated to expanding participation and giving a voice to all Americans. With the rise of dark money in politics, restrictive voter ID laws, and other tactics designed to disenfranchise voters, Avalon is pleased to play a small role by standing with the League as it works to ensure that all Americans have a voice in our democracy.
If you’d like to learn more about the League’s vital work and how you can get involved, visit the League’s website.Read More
At this year’s American Museum Membership Conference, we had the opportunity to participate in a fun and incredibly informative general session: Big Ideas for Museum and Membership Fundraising.
The ideas presented in this rapid-fire panel discussion ranged from game-changing innovations for fundraising programs, to testing strategies, to partnerships, etc. Here are some of the big ideas Avalon staffers shared that have had a significant impact on our clients’ success:
How do you build engagement and loyalty for a museum donors can’t visit yet? During the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s long funding and construction phases, Avalon helped the Museum generate excitement, build support, and recruit valuable Charter Members to fund the pre-opening phases of this institution, through consistent branding, multi-channel direct marketing campaigns, and best practice efforts. Read more here.
So you’ve built a large pool of online activists and digital petition-signers—now what? Good news: It’s time to reap the rewards—revenue and ROI.
Avalon’s research and experience prove unequivocally that donors who are also activists are much more valuable to your organization, across a variety of metrics. We define activists as people who have taken an action on behalf of your organization, e.g., signed a petition, written a letter, attended an advocacy event, etc.
For one Avalon advocacy client, our testing validated the strength of current, lapsed (25-60 months), and deeply lapsed (61-120 months) activist members, with all segments showing stronger revenue per member and a renewal/reinstatement rate as much as 50 percent higher than non-activists. In some segments, the average gift from donor-activists was up to 25 percent higher than that of non-activists.
Once activists make a contribution, they are also more likely to stay on your donor rolls than non-activists, which is a huge incentive to turn your activists into donors. (On the flip side, encouraging your donors to become activists will also strengthen their commitment to your organization and increase their long-term value.)
To harness this potential, cultivate first, then ask. Because activists already have a relationship with your organization, they are excellent prospects for donor conversion. Your first job is to cultivate them and move them along a continuum of involvement.Read More