FYI Blog

Prepping for Bridge

We’re gearing up for Bridge—July 11-12 this year—with two sessions led by Avalonians and our clients, and a special announcement about our cutting-edge data reporting and analysis system, Merlin by Avalon.

Check out our sessions at Bridge!

Our first session, Testing for Impact, brings together some Bridge all stars: Avalon COO Kerri Kerr; Mikaela King, VP of Integrated Marketing at National Geographic; and Laura Connors, VP of Membership at the National Parks Conservation Association.

Testing for Impact will be a panel discussion in which you’ll hear from organizations that are bucking the trend on testing, by favoring smart testing over testing for testing’s sake. Looking to increase your bottom line impact and save costs? Tired of testing month after month with few meaningful results to show for it? Our experts will describe how to test deliberately and for impact—moving the dial instead of just the needle. The session includes lots of testing results examples, how to ensure you are testing for statistical validity, and the basics of how to incorporate this kind of real testing into your program. Whether you’re looking to cut costs, boost response, or both, this session is for you.

Our second presentation is Key Metrics 101: The answers you need when your boss puts you on the spot. Everyone in our industry needs to be proficient in the ins and outs of data and analytics. But we’re not all there yet. When your boss hits you with questions like:

“How many new members do we have this year?”

“What is our five-year donor value?”

“What’s our retention rate?”

…do you know how and where to get the answers?

In this session, we’ll teach you how to how to identify and understand the most important performance metrics for your direct marketing fundraising program, both by channel and overall. We’ll help you see how all the metrics work with each other and how you can benchmark your organization’s stats against previous stats and against industry standards for your sector. And finally, we’ll share techniques on how to communicate these metrics—and what they mean for the program—quickly and easily to your boss.

The expert panelists are Avalon’s own VP of Analytics TJ Hillinger; Myles King, Director of Annual and Digital Fundraising at the Kennedy Center; and Mikaela King, VP of Integrated Marketing at National Geographic.

Have you met Merlin? Let us introduce you!

And now on to our exciting news about Merlin by Avalon—our cutting-edge, proprietary data reporting system. It’s no longer just for Avalon clients! We’ve developed a Merlin dashboard for any industry professional—at any level of expertise—to provide the most relevant views of your program to answer key questions and spot issues as soon as they arise.

For example, Merlin gives you 24/7 access to your program information, like:

  • Comparisons to budget and prior year
  • Year-over-year cash flow trends
  • Month-to-month views comparing the past three years
  • Revenue by channel and percentage by channel allows for a quick comparison to industry benchmarks
  • A high-dollar giving snapshot
  • And so much more.

For more information how you can access our new Merlin dashboard, contact our Vice President & Director of Analytical Services, TJ Hillinger, at Avalon.  And we’ll see you at Bridge!