- Performance: For the most part, average gift amounts were down compared to 2010, but although response rates varied, overall response rate performance held steady.
- More people giving online: All of our clients’ year-end appeals beat last year’s gross revenue by 10 to 35%, with some doing even better. Most clients sent more emails in December 2011 than in 2010 — especially the last week/day of the year. Organizations had more frequent contact — three to six emails going out throughout the month — and they were sending to larger lists over last year. But what’s notable is that it wasn’t just increased file sizes and contacts that contributed to year-end revenue increases – the percentage of people giving through the online channel exceeded list and contact growth… which means more people were also giving online.
- It’s not over until 12/31: On average, we received about 60% of online year-end revenue during the last week of December and about half of that came in on the final two days of the year. The urgency of that year-end message doesn’t expire until New Year’s Eve!
- Testing: Among clients who conducted tests within their year-end efforts, results were not significant or the control remained unbeaten. Traditional year-end messaging that highlights the past year’s victories and the challenges ahead continues to inspire donors to give.
- The perfect mix for fundraising success: Matching gifts, tax-deductibility reminders, and urgent deadlines were the messaging trifecta for successful year-end online fundraising campaigns for a number of our clients!
Lessons learned? Keep using the tried-and-true year-end messaging of traditional marketing in new media – the urgency is amplified by the speed of email, and the tax implications and gift challenges resonate with donors at the end of the year. And be sure to stick to the Seven Elements of Fundraising Success – no matter which fundraising channel you use.