This month, we describe how we used current events to drive donor appeals and acquisition urgency and messaging.
The 2012 Presidential election was the ideal environment for the League of Women Voters to capitalize on their work, and use high-impact messaging to drive giving. But in an extremely competitive market: how could we make the League stand out? We looked to a growing story in the news for our answer. After the Citizen’s United Decision drastically changed the campaign landscape, small stories started to appear about cookie-cutter legislation pushing for voter ID laws across the country. So we knew we had an issue that was specific to the League’s work, but also had some fire.
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.
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.
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.