Calendar Year End Email series drives significant revenue

Calendar Year End
Date Published
Kate Ryan

The Situation

Southern California classical music station KUSC had always focused its fundraising efforts around traditional channels, leveraging direct mail and email around on-air membership drives in January, April, and September. Though these campaigns had always been successful in their own right, KUSC wanted to increase revenue at Calendar-Year-End (CYE), when there was no membership campaign to fundraise around.

The Strategy

KUSC wanted to set the right tone in this CYE campaign, because classical music donors generally have a high average gift and retention rate. Together, Allegiance Fundraising and KUSC developed an email series for current and lapsed donors to remind them that time was running out to make a tax-deductible gift for 2017. 

The emails, presented as helpful and encouraging, rather than pushy, included a “Countdown” headline, consistent branding throughout the series, and included a “thank-you” message. The emails increased urgency with each send and blasted in the last week of December including the 31st.

The ResultsCalendar Year End

The Calendar-Year-End emails were a big success overall. Average gift for the series was $112, and the final net revenue was more than 30 times the cost for the project. The station is thrilled in the investment it made in its Calendar-Year-End fundraising tactics and has included a repeat of the effort in 2018.

About the Author:
Kate Ryan
Account Director, Agency Services

Role at the Company

My role involves helping fundraisers find and keep loyal donors while making a positive impact in their communities. Every day, I apply whole-brain solutions to the work I do, using analytics, creativity, and a big dose of nerd to help our clients succeed.

What excites you about your work at AFG?

I love data! And having client-side experience with all three divisions of AFG allows me to rev that motor in a big way.

If you weren’t at AFG, what would you be doing?

Running an apocalypse-themed bowling alley and bar. Probably goat yoga. Managing my kids’ Youtube careers.

What are your hobbies/interests outside AFG?

Spending time with said children, acrylic fluid painting, traveling, bowling (really!), reading, and if there’s time after, a good zombie movie.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

The first time I was ever in a plane, I jumped out. That one time I skydived was pretty cool!

What’s your favorite childhood memory?

As a kid, my family went to Tablerock Lake for our summer vacation. We had a small motorboat that was just big enough for the five of us, and my brother and I learned to waterski soon enough. One morning, dad threw out the ropes and off we went. We tooled around the lake for a long time, neither of us willing to take the first fall of the day. Dad kept circling the boat, forcing us to jump the wakes – still neither of us would take the dive. Finally ran the boat entirely out of gas just outside our cove. Dad got towed back. We had to swim.

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