Wordle meets fundraising + email accessibility, a QR warning, learning for leaders, and more good client news in this week’s @AvalonConsultingGroup Dispatch.
Today, March 1, is my Avalon anniversary—25 years! And 28 in the industry. Much has changed, but one thing stands the test of time: there is no one I’d rather work with than the Avalon team and all of you. Even as we weather new challenges—most recently, a frightening war in Ukraine and new Republican assaults on education and the LGBTQIA+ community—we will keep showing up for progressive change. Thank you for being such wonderful colleagues.
In other news, congratulations to Ketanji Brown Jackson, who President Biden nominated to the Supreme Court last week. I’ve been thinking a lot about what Jackson’s nomination means for representation for women and specifically Black women. It still thrills me that there are women on the Supreme Court. Fun fact: my dad encouraged me to dress up as a hypothetical female Supreme Court justice for Halloween one year when I was about 8. I wish I had a photo! (Sandra Day O’Connor wasn’t nominated until later, in 1981.)
Looking ahead, I’ve been involved in planning The Nonprofit Alliance 2022 Leadership Summit, “Life in the Global Reorg.” I am so excited for this conference, which is focused on how senior leaders, nonprofits, and the sector as a whole are moving forward in the new normal. The in-person event will take place March 30 – April 1 in Washington, DC (vaccination is required). I hope to see you there!
Wordle fans will enjoy this post from Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now. He makes a good point that Wordle strategy has certain commonalities with fundraising. First, you should begin with a good foundation, then incorporate new information as you go. Second, you may not love the word that works best, but good Wordle players (and good fundraisers) set personal preferences aside. Don’t randomly guess or pick favorites; be intentional, be logical, and build on what works.
On the digital front, the FBI has issued a warning about QR code scams. Some bad actors are using the tool for data theft, malware, and false payments. As consumers, we should only use codes from known sources and check the URLs of any sites that open. As marketers, we should be aware that QR codes can have these problems. This doesn’t require an immediate course correction, but it’s something to watch in case public enthusiasm cools or officials pursue regulation down the road.
For Microsoft users, marketing VP Barb Perell pointed out that Outlook can review emails for accessibility. For example, it will scan images for alternate text and verify that tables are structured to work with assistive technology. I’m glad to see Microsoft embedding these features in the software we use every day. They are so important for inclusivity.
On a happy note, congratulations to the National Museum of the American Indian for the selection of its educational film Removal for the 2022 American Documentary and Animation Film Festival. The festival will take place in Palm Springs this April, and, as an official selection, Removal is now eligible for an Academy Award. The 3-minute film was produced to accompany the digital lesson, “American Indian Removal: What Does It Mean to Remove a People?” It is visually dynamic and really speaks to the Museum’s educational impact.
Also in the arts, this year many treasures entered the public domain, including Winnie the Pooh, The Sun Also Rises, and poetry by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker. For our first ever Thinking Creatively film club, Avalon watched the docu-series Everything is a Remix, which considered the importance of conceptual blending to creativity. It will be exciting to see how contemporary artists use these classics to create new things.
Finally, if you read Adam Grant’s NYT essay on languishing, don’t miss this piece on languishing’s opposite: flourishing. The author, Dani Bloom, outlines six research-backed practices that encourage flourishing: savor and celebrate new things, express gratitude, do good deeds, look for communities and connection, find purpose in routines, and try something new. I like that each of these are small steps we could take today.
I’ll go first by saying thank you for reading this week’s letter and for all the times you hit reply to say hello and share your thoughts. I truly appreciate the connection and love to hear what you’re up to!