Most of us who work in fundraising were deluged with emails from various nonprofits. But we were also refreshing our donation totals to see how generous donors were being to their favorite causes. In all, Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving, spurred record numbers of charitable giving this week with $511 million raised online […]Read More
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch Speaks Out In June, Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture was named the Smithsonian Institution’s 14th secretary. Recently, CBS This Morning ran a fascinating feature on Bunch and his new memoir: A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, […]Read More
One of the most exciting opportunities in my career as a fundraiser has been Avalon’s partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in building a robust Membership program to support the Museum’s opening in September 2016. Lonnie Bunch, the visionary leader and founding director of the Museum, was recently […]Read More
REACH for the stars! The Kennedy Center is pulling out all the stops when it opens its much-anticipated expansion, the REACH, in September. For 16 days—September 7-22—the Kennedy Center will hold a free festival, including tours of the new REACH spaces, films, interactive events (like tai chi and virtual reality demonstrations), dance, comedy (Patton Oswalt!), […]Read More
Spikes Are Not the Answer In a compelling article in Common Wealth magazine, Pine Street Inn Executive Director Lyndia Downie describes the real-world solutions to homelessness that Pine Street is implementing, with great results. She and co-author Laura Sen concur that putting up barriers—like metal spikes under an overpass in San Francisco—to discourage homeless people from taking shelter […]Read More
Would you believe me if I told you that changing just one thing in your fundraising program could produce dramatic results? It’s true! One small change can generate more ideas to test, courage to think outside the box, and unexpected savings or even revenue. Here are some recent change-just-one-thing strategies that have made a big […]Read More
The League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWV) needed to provide donors with a post-election update as quickly as possible after Election Day 2016—regardless of the election’s outcome. OBJECTIVE: The League of Women Voters (LWV) Education Fund’s objective was to be in the mail within days after Election Day, to brief supporters on the […]Read More
OBJECTIVE: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world-class arts and culture venue and presidential memorial. As JFK’s 100th birthday approached, the Kennedy Center tasked Avalon with creating strategies to leverage the Centennial celebration and events to help fund the Center’s programs, by celebrating JFK’s legacy and enduring impact on the arts.
STRATEGY/AUDIENCE: Avalon designed a comprehensive Centennial campaign spanning all channels, including on-site, social media, email marketing, the KC website and unique landing page, media outreach, direct mail, and telemarketing.
Billed as “35 Days of Giving,” the campaign, which celebrated the 35th president, led up to the 100th birthday of President Kennedy (May 29). The centerpiece of the fundraising campaign was a series of nine compelling emails that Avalon designed—each one building in urgency and with its own case for support. All of the emails also touched on common themes, including The Kennedy Center’s legacy as the nation’s performing arts center and how it has helped to shape the arts across the country and JFK’s legacy and ideals often attributed to President Kennedy: Courage, Freedom, Justice, Service, and Gratitude. The emails also promoted a generous two-to-one matching gift challenge by a Kennedy Center donor. And, as each fundraising milestone was achieved, the Kennedy Center released video content featuring performers highlighting the centennial celebration ideals.
For further branding and a broad reach, we designed advertisements for an online ad campaign that The Kennedy Center managed, and on-site materials, including a campaign brochure, collateral materials for giveaways/prizes (including buttons and tote bags), a banner, and a Playbill insert. We also conducted a telemarketing campaign to reinstate lapsed members, and we added an insert on the Centennial to direct mail gift acknowledgements. The brochure was also mailed to $1,000 current members who the Center could not email and would not be attending any performances during the campaign. Finally, as something new for the Kennedy Center, we coordinated a Thunderclap in the week leading up to the Centennial, in which supporters agreed to let Thunderclap auto-share an update about the campaign, amplifying the reach and visibility of the campaign.Read More