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Displaying Posts by Category: Avalon Insights

It’s a critical part of any DM 101 session: don’t forget to welcome your donors as soon as possible after the first contact.  But what about new subscribers to your email list – wouldn’t it be more efficient to create an automated welcome series that not only solidified initial contact but also secured a gift?

2008 Flashback?

Monday, 15 August 2011 19:49
Are you starting to feel like it’s December 2008 all over again?  

Clearly, the news is not good: employment growth is extremely weak, and threatens to stall out altogether.  Businesses remain reluctant to invest and hire because there is not sufficient demand for goods and services.  Many Americans are searching for work, we just endured debt-ceiling negotiations that have shaken us all, and the stock market is, to put it mildly, volatile.

Seen & Heard in July

Monday, 25 July 2011 12:00

Oh yes … great stuff out there about Facebook: golden rules from nonprofit digital media professionals who actively manage their social media programs, more on QR codes and how they can be applied to your program, an innovative monthly donor recruitment tool, an update on mobile giving with an international view, and Blackbaud’s Index of Charitable Giving.

Avalon eFundraising Benchmarks

Friday, 22 July 2011 17:25

In an effort to define benchmarking performance for Avalon’s clients – and our specific markets – Avalon has compiled 2011 online fundraising performance metrics for our clients and compared them to the 2011 benchmarking numbers from The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study (by M+R Strategic Services and NTEN) and The Convio Online Nonprofit Benchmark™ Study. The results are pretty impressive.

There are few things more valuable to a nonprofit’s fundraising potential than the integrity of its data.  For if our data isn’t clean and complete, how can we distinguish with certainty between a donor who has given 12 times over a lifetime vs one who has given only twice?  Clearly the way we recognize those two donors should differ … the way we interact with those donors … the way we solicit those donors.

Yet, We’ve recently witnessed a disturbing trend that ultimately negates the value of understanding one’s data, and therefore one’s donor file … and it’s happening during the database conversion process.

Telling Real Stories Has a Big Impact

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 10:57
When we learned about Silverdocs – the AFI-Discovery Channel Documentary Festival – Avalon made a point to check out a screening at the AFI’s Silver Theater in Silver Spring, MD.

Seen & Heard in May

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 10:49

A lot of back and forth regarding social media, Facebook, and whether we should focus our time on it at all this month.  Will we ever come to a consensus on its impact?  Probably not – but what is forward-thinking is NFC (Near Field Communication) and its role in marketing.  And don’t miss MoveOn.org’s recent news …

Lists: To Protect or Not?

Friday, 27 May 2011 17:24
A friend of mine (not associated with the world of direct marketing) recently asked me whether we still use the mail to raise money for our clients.  An interesting conversation ensued – with the customary disbelief that in an age of all encompassing electronic media and social networking direct mail is not dead.  Really … it isn’t! In fact, as Convio reported last year, direct mail remains the most acceptable solicitation channel for older Americans, “but also scores surprisingly well with younger generations” … with 49% of all donors sending a check through the mail.

So if the troubling trend of shrinking mail volumes we witnessed over the past few years seems to have subsided (see this month’s FYI) – are we out of the woods in terms of regaining strength in our acquisition programs?  No – because we’re now seeing another disturbing trend in the list world.
Target Analytics’ donorCentrics™ Index of National Fundraising Performance for the 2010 Fourth Quarter was recently released and has created quite a stir!  Although the organizations in the study held revenue steady in 2010 “donor populations have been shrinking consistently for the past four years.”
Membership is powerful.  Nonprofit organizations and political parties are well aware that the very act of belonging translates to repeat financial support and mobilization of advocacy efforts.  

Of all the proven and patented tactics used to acquire and retain new members – premiums, exclusive access and offers, or the personal storytelling required to instill emotion and passion for supporting a great mission – one approach that is often underleveraged and in some cases downright ignored … recognition.
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