In these days of tight budgets and belt tightening, all nonprofits are looking for ways to squeeze every last dollar out of their house files. We’ve found that one of the most effective best practices is to dig deeply into your data to uncover trends and early warning signs that things might be off track.
Avalon VP of Analytics Rick Malchow created an ingenious tool, called Avalon VitalStatsTM (Key Performance Indicator Dashboard), to uncover donor-level trends. A valuable management tool, the Dashboard provides at-a-glance summaries of your program’s current performance metrics compared to prior years, enabling convenient program status monitoring and communications. The summaries include donor counts, giving statistics (overall and by donor type), donor retention rates, and program financial performance.
Back in September, Allison Porter wrote a blog titled “In Defense of Telemarketing” – sounding the alarm on the outrageous attacks on telemarketing specifically, and the fundraising industry in general. This month’s Agitator is running a two-part blog on the same subject as it pertains to donor acquisition, calling out those in the media and watchdog groups (among others) for complaining about the “high cost of fundraising” when they clearly do not understand the concept of donor acquisition investment.
Some recent data analysis proved what we at Avalon have always suspected: engaged donors are stronger, more valuable donors. We analyzed National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) data and uncovered some striking results – yes, member/activists have the best life-time value among donors/members and activists. (We define an activist as someone who has taken at least one action – other than making a contribution – to benefit the organization.)
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’re all about crunching numbers and evaluating returns, especially when it comes to benchmarking how our clients’ program performance stacks up against similar organizations. We recently compiled Avalon clients’ fundraising results across various industries, like arts and culture, environmental and conservation, and advocacy – check it out for a sense of how your results compare. We’ve also included a quick reference guide to help you delve into your spreadsheets, recognize meaningful stats, and plan your next outreach to donors or prospects. And as always, Avalon is available to dive into the data beyond with you!