The upward trend continues! According to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index released today, consumer confidence increased again in August – the Index now stands at at 92.4 (1985=100), up from 90.3 in July.
On Thursday, August 7th, Avalon hosted its first annual, client-exclusive Direct Response Fundraising 101. With over ten client organizations in attendance, the seminar was full of conversation, strategy, and fresh ideas from the Avalon community.
The day kicked off with networking and breakfast, during which clients were able to exchange ideas and thoughts with one another and their Avalon colleagues. A full day of informative sessions from Avalon’s senior staff followed:
• Senior Vice President Kerri Kerr (pictured above) began with a talk on Direct Mail and Creative Strategy. At Avalon, this important step provides the seed to grow and culminate ideas for direct marketing campaigns. Kerri spoke to the importance of messaging and focus in the creative process, and she explained how clients should envision their different types of mailings.
• Vice President and Director of Analytical Services T.J. Hillinger spoke with clients about Avalon’s state-of-the-art reporting and analytics, citing the importance of understanding and applying analytics in order to plan and execute successful fundraising programs.
• Vice President of Online Services Barb Perell discussed Online Fundraising. Barb explained that, as technology continues to grow and evolve, the importance of integrating online fundraising with other channels remains essential to a program’s success. Additionally, Barb stressed the importance of maximizing lead generation to drive traffic, and she reminded clients that it is crucial to collect email addresses in different ways.
• Account Director Jackie Biancolli (see first photo below) led a session on Telefundraising. Jackie described the ways in which a strong donor relationship can be built through phone calls, and she explained the benefits of tracking and changing campaign strategy in real time through this medium.
• Senior Program Manager Rebecca Shapalis and Program Manager Lucy Quinn led participants through the step-by-step Production process that brings campaigns to life. The various colors you see on an envelope? Those are carefully chosen and attributed to certain packages through a variety of steps. As are all the folds, envelopes, and logos of a package!
At the 35th Annual DMAW MAXI Awards Ceremony, Avalon campaigns earned a Silver level MAXI for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a Bronze for the National Museum of the American Indian. Avalon is thrilled to share this news about our clients' MAXI-winning packages – and we are even prouder of our clients’ important missions. We feel so fortunate to be acknowledged for this rewarding work, and we are grateful for the annual recognition from our industry peers. It is an honor to work with such accomplished clients and partners!
The winning campaigns were:
• National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2013 March Notecard Direct Mail Appeal. See photos below. Stay tuned for a case study on this successful campaign.
• National Museum of the American Indian's 2013 Dispelling Stereotypes Direct Mail Acquisition package. See photo below and read more about this campaign here.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
The American Film Institute kicked off its 2014 Documentary Festival on Wednesday, June 18 at the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC, with a screening of Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey. The film, directed by Scott Teems, depicts the life and work of actor Hal Holbrook. Holbrook began portraying legendary American writer Mark Twain in 1954, and, for the past 60 years, he has continued his role in the award-winning one man show, “Mark Twain Tonight!.” In the film, Teems tells the story of the show, from its beginnings to its appearance on international stages, Broadway, and television. He examines Holbrook’s deep appreciation and understanding of Twain’s timeless wit, advice, and satire, and the ways in which his performances ensure Twain’s lasting legacy on American culture.
Avalon team members Dara Igersheim and Lucy Quinn attended the film screening and volunteered for AFI during the event. AFI Director Bob Gazzale opened the evening with remarks introducing Teems, who spoke about the film. Later, Holbrook himself (pictured below) spoke to the audience and described his joy and ongoing appreciation for the making of the film. The Avalon team is always excited to actively participate in AFI DOCS and to see the amazing work AFI has accomplished as a result of the contributions of donors and AFI members.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Allison Porter Named to Marketing EDGE Board of Trustees
Washington, DC - (June 10, 2013) - Avalon is pleased to announce that on June 3, 2014, Avalon President and Co-founder Allison Porter was appointed to the Marketing EDGE Board of Trustees for a three-year term and as assistant treasurer for a one-year term.
“I became involved with Marketing EDGE a few years ago because of this wonderful nonprofit’s commitment to engaging college students in the field of marketing,” says Porter. “Its sole mission is to expand the pool of trained, workforce-ready marketers, and it does a terrific job. I’m thrilled to join this board of dedicated marketing professionals to help find and encourage the next generation of talented marketers.”
You can find the official Marketing EDGE board election results here.
Marketing EDGE, headquartered in New York City, works to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing, thereby expanding and enriching the talent pool of market-ready professionals…it is serving the dynamic field of marketing [by] connecting with students, academics, career centers, corporations, and independent professionals; and streaming top talent into the industry.
We’re thrilled to announce that in early July, the Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW) will present Avalon with two MAXI Awards (that’s Marketing Award for eXcellence and Innovation) for our work.
According to the DMAW website, the MAXI Awards program recognizes and honors outstanding achievements in the field of direct marketing… All entries are judged on the following six criteria: results, strategy, copy, design/format, production, and innovation.
We are grateful for this recognition from our industry peers, and we are also so pleased to be acknowledged for our rewarding and fulfilling work with Avalon's client partners, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Stay tuned! We look forward to sharing more details about our 2014 MAXI experience as the event draws closer; the annual awards ceremony is slated for July 9th.
Allison Porter, Avalon's own President and Co-Founder, and Nadine Gabai-Botero, Founder and Principal of Focus Fundraising LLC, are serving as this year’s Bridge Co-Chairs. This week, they delivered a short and sweet what-you-need-to-know overview about the 2014 Bridge Conference in their first blog post feature. Be sure to check it out and check back in with us for more updates as the Conference quickly approaches.
Photo: (from left) Allison Porter and Nadine Gabai-Botero.
The Avalon team recently had opportunities not only to celebrate national parks at the recent NPCA Salute to the Parks gala held at the Newseum, but also to check out the Anchorman exhibit on display. Supporting our wonderful clients and the national parks AND snapping photos (see below) with life-sized cut-outs of Ron Burgundy = double win
Check out the current Fundraising Success cover story, a piece on the League of Women Voters’ blockbuster package - a National Opinion Survey donor acquisition control. Fundraising Success is an influential website dedicated to multi-channel and integrated best practices, and we are thrilled to see it highlight the League’s stellar campaign.
In a September 2013 post, we summarized the key findings of Blackbaud’s Next Generation Study. Blackbaud just released a YouTube video about those findings.