The National Parks Conservation Association’s (NPCA) direct marketing fundraising program was well-established when Avalon was brought on board in 2010. But the NPCA team believed—and our subsequent audit and analysis showed—that they were leaving money on the table, with untapped opportunities to expand online outreach, tighten multi-channel integration, and apply more innovative approaches across the program.
Avalon conducted an in-depth major findings analysis to dig deeper into the strategic story NPCA’s data could tell us. We found underlying trends within the member file that informed how we could ramp up program performance. One of our first insights: online giving was just a fraction of total fundraising, despite a healthy flow of new visitors to NPCA’s website every month. To capture, cultivate, and convert these highly qualified prospects, we created and implemented an email welcome series to more fully engage new e-list subscribers before asking for money. Another innovation was our highly effective multi-channel calendar engagement campaign—including a multi-effort series of emails that asked members and prospects to choose the calendar cover image with follow-ups to join or renew.
NPCA had recruited hundreds of thousands of online activists over the years, so Avalon Analytics® analyzed these warm prospects and recommended a multi-panel, multi-phased test to determine the most effective combination of multi-channel outreach (email, direct mail, phone) for converting activists to members. This new approach was highly successful, and once converted, we worked with NPCA to also manage and implement e-renewal and e-appeal programs.
Avalon’s ROI analysis revealed what we have seen so often—that several acquisition lists were not delivering on long-term value, despite their strong initial showing, so we limited expansion into these lists.
Seeing room for improvement in NPCA’s Trustees for the Parks major donor group, we created more upgrade opportunities within the general membership by creatively integrating more upgrade asks throughout the program.
Avalon’s strategic understanding of NPCA’s data, coupled with our inventive creative approach, has resulted in seven years of sustained growth with gross revenue increasing 47% and net revenue increasing 47% since 2008 for NPCA. In fact, net revenue increased significantly (25%) in the last few years especially. In FY17, the number of NPCA members reached its highest point ever. Informed by our state-of-the-art data analytics, we added multi-channel best practices across the board to build a file of committed, valuable, long-term donors. And our nine-effort e-renewal series, online acquisition, reinstatement, and sustainer recruitment programs have resulted in 289% online fundraising growth over the last seven years.
The story of Avalon’s impact on NPCA’s program is a great example of how we gave new life to an established advocacy program. Avalon is well-versed in growing files of high-value donors across nonprofit sectors. In the end, what matters is the data and how we apply strategies to maximize the possibilities for each organization.