This month, we bring you two Avalon client case studies, describing how we capitalized on our clients’ distinctive qualities to improve lackluster donor prospecting results.
The National Museum of the American Indian’s donor acquisition performance had suffered since the recession, and the two formerly strong co-control packages were starting to stumble. Avalon was tasked with finding a new and creative way to attract donors in a more cost-effective manner.
This was a special Creating Change conference that my colleagues Margaret Romig, Bill Tucker, and I attended this January. While it was my third, it was also the 25th anniversary of this amazing conference.
Officially, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference is the “largest annual gathering of activists, organizers and leaders in the LGBT movement.” But that does not even begin to describe what this conference is about.
As we are fewer than 40 days out from the 2012 Presidential Elections some of Avalon’s clients have valuable resources for voters. Here are some worth checking out:
In 2011, the Japanese earthquake and subsequent tsunami impacted the Galapagos Conservancy directly. So the organization reached out to its members with an urgent request for funds to repair damage to the Charles Darwin Research Center, and to research the effect of the event on local animal populations.
In response, Avalon created an Urgent Gram appeal and mailed deeply into the Galapagos Conservancy’s file (from 0-30 months for donors $25-999.99, and to 36 months for higher-dollar donors). A companion e-appeal was designed as well.
This month, we bring you two more Avalon client case studies, describing year-end and eRenewal campaigns that were performing well – could we find room for improvement?
As with any nonprofit organization, the year-end appeal is typically the League of Women Voters’ strongest appeal. In the fall of 2011, on the cusp of the Presidential primaries, Avalon and the League sought to take advantage of the giving season and the League’s relevant issues in the news to maximize giving.
The League of Women Voters has a mature prospecting program. Like many well-established direct marketing programs, it was necessary to prepare for the future marketplace and go beyond traditional trades and exchanges. Avalon designed a modeling program to increase the League’s ROI, and give it a competitive edge in the mailbox by more tightly targeting our prospective donors.
We wanted to share with you a couple more case studies from Avalon’s MAXI Award submissions – the first is a direct mail donor acquisition test, and the second a multi-channel campaign.
While our primary objective was to acquire new and valuable donors for our client Farm Sanctuary, it was also important to know if an acquisition audience would be more responsive to tragic or cute animal images on the carrier. The control package focused heavily on the cruelty of the factory farming system and featured a bleak image of a downed pig on the carrier. Conversely, we had had much success with an email campaign featuring a cute animal.
Having recently submitted Avalon’s Maxi entries (the Direct Marketing Association of Washington’s Marketing Award for eXcellence and Innovation), I’d like to share a few of our client success stories we’re most proud of:
Avalon’s always believed that the personal touch of telemarketing is the best way to approach deeply lapsed donors, and the Kennedy Center’s target audience was no exception, with 13-96 month lapsed members and the majority of the file (73%) inactive for three to eight years.
Knowing how long these donors had been away, and to create a natural conversation, we timed the campaign to coincide with the Kennedy Center’s new season announcement. The script piqued the prospects' interest by highlighting upcoming Kennedy Center performances first, and then presenting the philanthropic case for support. We also discounted membership levels by 20% to reactivate those members who might have missed the benefits of membership.
In January, Margaret Romig, Bill Tucker, and I attended Creating Change 2012, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 24thannual conference on LGBT equality, where nearly 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates met to celebrate recent successes, and strategize about the challenges ahead.
One of the highlights of the conference was Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey’s State of the LGBT Movement address (read the address or watch the video here). She highlighted the major steps toward full equality that transpired in 2011 – from the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to marriage equality becoming law in even more states, to the elevated national conversation prompted by the bullying of gay kids and the subsequent new anti-bullying laws. And, the extensive changes made at the federal level urged by the New Beginnings Initiative.