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National Parks Conservation Association

Leveraging Year-end Online Giving


With year-end digital fundraising campaigns raising a significant amount of revenue each year, every nonprofit should design and execute one. These types of campaigns can capitalize on Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, or rely solely on a series of targeted emails and follow ups. As the case study below demonstrates, these campaigns are well worth the effort when you create urgency and convey a clear and compelling case for support.

OBJECTIVE: The National Parks Conservation Association was looking to really ramp up its year-end fundraising by maximizing the digital channel.

STRATEGY: Avalon kicked off the campaign by sending the first email (of 14 sent) on Cyber Monday. This email served as a preview to the Giving Tuesday efforts. We promoted various matching gift offers at different points of the campaign, including one on Giving Tuesday, one starting the day after Giving Tuesday and going through 12/30, and a special triple match offer on 12/31.

We incorporated current events into the copy to keep things relevant—specifically, several emails mentioned recent attacks to national parks and monuments. Three different homepage overlays were displayed throughout the campaign and echoed the various matching gift offers.

 AUDIENCE: We used selective segmentation to target the 14 emails—in this way, ensuring that recipients were strategically targeted and not over-emailed. For example, sustainers and high-dollar donors only received select emails. Similarly, the final email we sent on 12/31 targeted people who had clicked on any of the year-end emails, but had not yet given, as well as donors to the previous three years’ year-end campaigns. Targeting the best donors who hadn’t yet given resulted in a 2.46% response rate for that effort.

RESULTS: This online year-end campaign was a record breaker for NPCA, raising 19% more gross revenue than the previous year’s year-end campaign, which had already been a record-breaking year. Our quantity was greater than expected, but the average gift and response rate were both above budget, as well—proving that the increase from the previous year was due to solid performance metrics, and not solely to the fact that we sent more emails. Additionally, the three overlays brought in a combined 53% of total campaign revenue.

 These quick rundowns of two blockbuster online campaigns give you a sense of the kinds of online strategies you can implement to maximize year-end giving. Your campaign doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles if time is short—just reach out now, when your supporters are feeling extra generous, and looking for a way to make an impact.

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