The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in January, fell moderately in February. The Index now stands at 78.1 (1985=100), down from 79.4 in January. The decline was driven by the Expectations Index, which dropped to 75.7 from 80.8. The Present Situation Index, by contrast, climbed from 77.3 to 81.7.
Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, analyzes the results this way: “Consumer confidence declined moderately in February, on concern over the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs, and earnings. While expectations have fluctuated over recent months, current conditions have continued to trend upward and the Present Situation Index is now at its highest level in almost six years (April 2008, 81.9). This suggests that consumers believe the economy has improved, but they do not foresee it gaining considerable momentum in the months ahead.”
The Integrated Marketing Advisory Board (IMAB) just held its first annual The IMAB Virtual Marketing Conference for Nonprofits – a one-day, conference call conference with seven sessions and as IMAB put it, “A wealth of insights for nonprofits.”
The Conference was a huge success and IMAB has received terrific feedback from participants. So did you miss part or all of this inaugural Conference? Don’t worry – we’ll get you caught up. Click here for a full wrap-up (by IMAB guest bloggers) or view the session recordings at your convenience and share them with your colleagues.
On December 4th, Avalon held a special dedication ceremony for Ann Herzog, Avalon’s former President, Board Chair, and Co-Founder. Dedicated to Ann’s legacy, the Avalon conference room has been renamed, “The Ann Herzog Conference Room.” A plaque with Ann’s picture now hangs beside the entrance (photo on right).
In early 2013, Ann retired from Avalon, having achieved her founding vision of building a full-service, direct marketing fundraising agency that connects great causes to great people. As a direct marketer, Ann is widely respected for her messaging expertise and for pioneering multi-channel integration—a direct marketing strategy that has since evolved from cutting-edge philosophy to accepted best practice. In Avalon, Ann created a new kind of agency—one that not only delivers on quantitative objectives, but also prioritizes collaborative consulting, the long-term best interest of its clients, and a positive, sustainable culture for its staff.
Along with Ann and her Co-Founder Allison Porter, Avalon’s entire staff was in attendance to toast the occasion. We at Avalon know it has been our very good fortune to work for, collaborate with, and learn from Ann Herzog. The dedication ceremony was a wonderful occasion for us to show Ann our appreciation and recommit to her vision.
Our clients have some wonderful gift-giving opportunities that you will want to check out this holiday season! Here are just a few:
Proceeds from purchases made in Farm Sanctuary's shop directly support its lifesaving work on behalf of farm animals.
Be sure to check out all of the holiday performances happening at the Kennedy Center right now, as well as gifts in the Center’s online store for the holiday season.
Give the Earth the gift of trees! Celebrate Christmas, a birthday, anniversary, or other special event for a friend or family member… every dollar you donate will plant a tree in honor of that special person. In addition, Recipients will receive a certificate stating the number of trees planted in their name.
Visit the Museum’s annual Art Market Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm to purchase traditional and contemporary works by some of the finest Native artists. Member preview day takes place on Friday, December 6, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm.
Don’t miss the Museum’s Holiday Gift Market Monday, December 2 - Wednesday, December 4 in the Museum’s Great Hall for unique items and gifts made by women artists and designers. Members receive double discounts (20%)!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Avalon Wins the 2013 National Capital Business Ethics Award
Washington, DC - (October 25, 2013) – We are proud to announce that the Avalon Consulting Group, Inc. is winner of the 2013 National Capital Business Ethics Award in the small business category. The award recognizes an organization that exemplifies a strong commitment to business excellence and to the highest standards of civic and social responsibility, integrity and ethical conduct.
Ethics are integral to Avalon's mission: connecting great people with great causes. We work exclusively with clients and campaigns whose missions are compatible with our commitment to progressive change—because making a difference and creating positive social change are the reasons we got into this business in the first place. Accordingly, we view our clients' long-term thriving as our top priority.
In addition, Avalon adheres to the codes outlined by our industry associations, we support our clients in the implementation of ethical fundraising, and we have adopted an environmental policy to address the inevitable tension between direct marketing and environmental stewardship. Within our company, we are committed to fair compensation, generous benefits and a positive work environment for our employees.
We are honored to receive this prestigious award, and we pledge Avalon's continued commitment to ethical consulting, ethical fundraising and ethical management.
Allison Porter, Co-Founder and President of Avalon Consulting Group, was recently named the 2014 Bridge Conference Co-Chair. We could not be more proud and excited for Allison as she takes on this well-deserved honor.
Our friend and partner, Greg Albright, Founder and Partner of Production Solutions, recently interviewed Allison on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for next year’s Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference.
Don’t Miss the 31st Annual Hampton Bay Days! Hampton Bay Days – the spectacular festival that began in Hampton, Virginia in 1982 as a way to educate people about the importance of the Chesapeake Bay – returns from September 6-8 in downtown Hampton, brought to you by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. According the Hampton Bay Days website, “The on-going goal has been to provide an entertaining atmosphere while ultimately serving a greater purpose of highlighting aspects of the Chesapeake Bay and promoting its upkeep and preservation.”
It’s also a ton of fun: “The free outdoor festival is one of the largest family-friendly events and largest ‘Green’ events on the entire east coast,” with 200,000 visitors expected this year.
Just a quick reminder that the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington – where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his I Have a Dream speech and changed the world – will be celebrated with a march and rally on Saturday, August 24 in Washington, DC. Several Avalon clients are commemorating and joining the March on that day:
• The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ website includes details on how to record your memories and photos of the 1963 march, a sign-up page to meet up and march/rally with (or join) the Leadership Conference staff, coalition members, and other allied organizations on August 24, as well as information on commemorative marches to be held around the country that day.
• The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will also be out in force on August 24. As Darlene Nipper, Task Force Deputy Executive Director put it, "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were in the crowd 50 years ago, including the lead organizer of the march, Bayard Rustin. And five decades later, we are extremely honored to be part of this historic march where we will continue, in unity with the larger civil rights community, the long process of renewing, repairing and restoring the vision of full equality for all.” Go to the Task Force’s website for more information and to meet up with the Task Force group before the march.
• On August 28, the National Constitution Center will hold a celebration for the 50th anniversary at its headquarters, with local actors reading the I Have a Dream speech, followed by a concert and a variety of interactive programs and workshops, free with general admission to the museum. For more information, check out NCC’s website.
Greg Albright, Founder and Partner of Production Solutions, wrote a great blog post on his favorite “WOW moments” from the 2013 Bridge Conference. Avalon’s staff and clients were a few of his honorable mentions. Here are a few excerpts:
“Johannah Barry, President of Galapagos Conservancy, brought us to the cause. She demonstrated some successes of what the Conservancy does and inspired the entire audience to visit the Galapagos Islands.”
“Mark Grayer, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Avalon Consulting Group, says while 90% of non-profit funding is raised through offline direct mail, surprisingly only 75% of political funding comes from direct mail. Much of the difference in the success of political online advocacy programs versus non-profits’ online fundraising programs is due to them concentrating on building their email database. It’s never too early to get started!”