FYI Blog

The Numbers Don’t Lie


“We should just do this all online.”

“Major donors need to be protected from a direct mail program.”

We are mailing too much.”

“We need to target Millennials.”

Do any of these comments sound familiar?

We get it from all sides — questions rooted in good intentions, but lacking specific industry knowledge.

How can we, as development professionals, dispel these stubborn direct marketing fundraising myths that keep coming up, time and time again?

One word: data.

At Avalon, we’ve found that the analytical approach works best to counter these simplistic “solutions” to fundraising challenges. We dig deep into our clients’ data, using hard facts and sharing our expertise to help them understand what does and does not work.

To demonstrate how this analytical approach works, this month we’re launching a blog series called “Dispelling Myths” by TJ Hillinger, Avalon’s vice president and director of analytical services.

TJ will explain how data and evidence can correct misperceptions about how to achieve real success in fundraising. And she’ll give real-world examples of how to use data to rebut mistaken assertions and protect your program from amateur (albeit good-intentioned) meddling — one metric at a time.For each myth, there are often examples that can prove/disprove the theory — and not every organization will fit the mold. Your organization’s results may vary, and you should always test assumptions against your own data. We’ll show you exactly how to analyze results to provide evidence of what works for your unique organization.

In general, there are concrete reasons why these mistaken notions don’t add up to real results. Our blog series — starting with this month’s favorite myth, “We should just do this all online” — will provide insight into how you can use your data to move forward with actionable strategies, leave the myths behind, and truly maximize your direct marketing program’s potential.