We are gathered at Avalon HQ for the first time in 2 years! Read all about it in this week’s @AvalonConsultingGroup dispatch + catch up on client news, the major giving pipeline, calming graphic design, and more.
This week, our staff traveled to DC headquarters from around the country for “Avalon Week.” It’s our first in-person gathering since the pandemic sent us home in 2020. The world has changed, and Avalon has transitioned into a fully distributed team. We have also grown and are meeting many colleagues face-to-face for the first time. It’s a week full of meals, happy hours, and even birthday cupcakes to make up for lost time. I feel incredibly grateful for this team and for the opportunity to connect. Cheers to Avalon!
In other happy news, congratulations to Pine Street Inn president and executive director Lyndia Downie, who was recently selected by Boston Magazine as one of their 100 most influential Bostonians. The piece calls her a “hero for the unhoused” and notes her long career at the organization. This acknowledgement of Downie’s impact and PSI’s vital mission is wonderful to see. We are honored to support their work.
Our own Kerri Kerr was also featured recently, on the cover of DMAW’s Marketing Advents. Her article outlines best practices and new opportunities to cultivate major donors. It all begins with their first gift to your organization, which (spoiler alert) may be smaller than you think. We’ll share more when the post unlocks to the general public, but for now DMAW members can view it here.
From Future Fundraising Now, account director Nova Cohen-Prohow shared a thought-provoking post on who is “educated” to be a fundraiser. It’s a good reminder that there is no one path to success in this field. I love the possibility of that—not only for today’s fundraisers, but also for tomorrow’s leaders. A wider circle for recruiting could enhance our sector’s talent pool and improve industry diversity. Who else can we invite to join our ranks?
For the latest on mail, this industry update from Production Management Group covers postage, paper, and other logistics. There are so many external factors impacting direct mail right now; it can feel daunting. Still, there is some good news (especially for premium campaigns): average delivery times from China to Los Angeles have dropped from 40 to 30 days. Your Avalon teams will follow developments closely and keep you in the know.
On the creative side, Marketing VP Barb Perell suggests this article and Instagram feed by the New Happy—a striking juxtaposition of wellness and graphic design. Barb says, and I agree: “The simplicity of the designs alone made me pause and take a breath.” I hope you find something calming or inspiring there as well.
Meanwhile, if a slow internet is stressing you out, the WSJ has advice on how to optimize a fiber-optic connection. If you upgraded to fiber optic and still suffer slow speeds, the right gear can make a big difference. I discovered last year that an older router was ruining my wireless network speed. Once I replaced it, voila!
Finally—last, but certainly not least—Happy Administrative Professionals Day (April 27) to everyone supporting Avalon, our clients, and our partners behind the scenes. You make it all possible, and we are so grateful.