FYI Blog

Strong Year-End = Strong Year Ahead

We’ve been looking at the results from our clients’ year-end digital campaigns, and if your results are anything like ours, it’s a happy New Year indeed. Some takeaways from our analysis:

  • Avalon clients saw strong year-end fundraising results across the board. Some of this success can be attributed to the increased number of emails sent. But response rate and average gift were also up for many of our clients—proving that our numbers weren’t up just because we sent more emails.
  • With the number of sends likely to continue to increase each year end, it’s important to keep an eye on metrics to make sure we don’t see an uptick in unsubscribes, as well.
  • Matching gifts still win, and everyone knows it. At this point, we all need to include matching gifts just to compete, since it seems like everyone is offering a match. Also, we’re using—and seeing—more triple matches.
  • For one client, we had success with a celebrity signer, which helped to break up the monotony of using only one signer across a multi-email series.
  • Incorporating current events reaped great benefits for another Avalon client, resulting in a record-breaking campaign that exceeded last year’s record-breaking campaign.
  • Overlays (splash pages) still bring in a ton of revenue—raising anywhere from 30-60% of campaign revenue for some of our clients— and should be part of every year-end campaign.
  • Giving Tuesday continues to grow—and expand its reach. We’re seeing emails leading up to Giving Tuesday and more multiple email series on the actual day, just as sending multiple emails on December 31 has become the norm.
  • The $2 million in matching funds offered on Giving Tuesday by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook was used up in about half an hour! Another positive note: Facebook decided to waive its processing fees on Giving Tuesday and then eliminated the fees for using its charitable giving tools moving forward.
  • Some of our clients added language addressing the new tax plan that Congress passed just before Christmas. With no test, we do not know if the new tax regulations encouraged people to give now, before any changes to charitable giving go into effect.

Closing out the year with a bang really sets nonprofits up for a good start to the subsequent year. We recommend testing digital techniques and messaging throughout the year and rolling out your best practices at year end, where you can be confident that your donors are paying attention and ready to give.