FYI Blog

One Change Can Be Groundbreaking

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 difference for Avalon clients:

  • An Avalon client recently switched to a new production partner and saved $45,000 over three mailings. This can be quite an undertaking, but might be worth it in the long run. Or see if you can get a better price from your current vendor by bidding out a few jobs for comparison.
  • One of our museum clients was looking to optimize a flagging annual appeal, so they replaced a 6×9” mailing with multiple components with a simple—and cheaper—6×9” postcard. Now it’s netting revenue!
  • Several Avalon clients have reaped big rewards by adding a matching gift offer to an appeal or by adding another effort to a direct mail renewal series.
  • Another boon has been to add emailed renewal resends. These accounted for 42% of the total FY17 e-renewal revenue for one Avalon client!
  • Clients are often reluctant to mail more, but several of ours have added a campaign to fill a hole in their schedule, resulting in an impressive payoff. Two of our arts clients added a year-end notecard appeal and tax appeal that have become top performers!
  • A small change that can work wonders: version an existing appeal and mail it as an upgrade. One Avalon client saw donor upgrades increase dramatically without the cost and time of writing and designing a whole new package.
  • We repurposed the notepad a client gang-prints for a front-end acquisition freemium and mailed it as an added appeal. It became the most successful appeal effort we have ever mailed on their behalf!
  • Avalon won a MAXI last year for our telemarketing qualifiers (TMQs) strategy for the Friends of the Smithsonian that greatly increased profitability. TMQs help to pinpoint people most likely to give, paring down the calling universe and trimming costs.
  • And finally, under the headline Could it get any easier?!: Response rates jumped when we added the word “Renewal” to the carrier for donors (non-members) who had not yet made a gift for that fiscal year.

The bottom line: you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or spend a lot of money to rev up your fundraising results. Try changing just one thing as a first step, and see where it goes.