FYI Blog

A Culture of Continuous Improvement

As we begin the new year, processing the year end results (AWESOME) and working on plans for 2020, I’m reflecting on how Avalon has grown and evolved since its founding in 1997. We’ve moved forward and evolved as a firm in ways I couldn’t imagine 23 years ago—including our collaborative work spaces and work-from-home options […]

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January 23, 2020

Giving Tuesday’s Impact Continues to Grow

Most of us who work in fundraising were deluged with emails from various nonprofits. But we were also refreshing our donation totals to see how generous donors were being to their favorite causes. In all, Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving, spurred record numbers of charitable giving this week with $511 million raised online […]

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December 5, 2019

Hot off the Presses…

Avalon President Allison Porter and writer Faith Brown Kerr have authored a chapter in the brand-new book: Sustainable Revenue for Museums: A Guide, edited by Samantha Chmelik. Dedicated to “…the volunteers, staff, and board members at museums, historic sites, zoos, aquaria, botanical gardens, and nature parks,” the guide presents a survey of the best practices being […]

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October 25, 2019

DMAW AdVents Feature: “Data Literacy is Key”

Now more then ever, fundraisers are focusing on how data must guide their fundraising decision-making. Check out “Data Literacy is Key” by Avalon CEO, Allison Porter on how can strengthen your organization’s data literacy.  

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October 10, 2019

Do you have the guts to invest in fundraising?

No denying it: donor acquisition is down across the industry. Nonprofits are acquiring fewer donors, and many are experiencing volatile results and declining response rates, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project’s Quarterly Fundraising Report (June 2019). The number of donors is down; the number of donors who are giving is down; revenue is down. So what […]

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September 26, 2019

Checking All of The Boxes

This summer, I’ve been taking my oldest son to look at colleges. Like me, he’s analytical, so we started by making a list of the critical things he requires: does College X have the business program he wants? Study abroad? The right club sports offerings? I want him to check all those boxes, but my […]

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August 23, 2019

Data Literacy is Key

I’ve been in Avalon leadership for more than 20 years, striving to grow personally and professionally as our company has grown and changed, and always looking for ways to improve. Right now, I’m reading a fascinating book: Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow by Don Clifton and Tom Rath. I took […]

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June 24, 2019

Rage Against the Machine

“Lord, it is all so exhausting.” That’s the first line of Yvonne Abraham’s terrific recent piece in the Boston Globe: It’s Important to Stay Outraged. I’ve definitely felt that exhaustion over the past two years, with the daily news out of the White House always bringing a blow to civility, morality, the rule of law—or all […]

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May 13, 2019

It’s a Team Effort

  2019 is my 25th year with Avalon, and I’ve been thinking about how the consultant’s role has changed over the years—now we’re fundraisers, marketers, communicators, digital experts, telemarketing and direct mail creators, major donor advisors, advertisers, and coaches. Fundraising coaching seems to be gaining traction—people who work one on one with nonprofit leadership on […]

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April 25, 2019

The Balancing Act

  Happiness  is equilibrium. Shift your weight…You compensate, rebalance yourself so that you maintain your angle to the world. When the world shifts, you shift.   I like this quote by playwright Tom Stoppard—reminding us that we are all in a constant state of finding our balance in all facets of our lives. We’re always making […]

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March 7, 2019