The transition to fall has been a busy time, with continued COVID uncertainty. Good luck to everyone navigating back-to-school and return-to-office plans! As guidelines continue to evolve, I’m leaning on these strategies for leading through uncertainty. On a positive note, I was heartened by the FDA’s Pfizer approval, which unlocked several employer mandates and, I hope, will help persuade the vaccine hesitant.
Here at Avalon, we held a mindfulness training for our staff, led by coach and longtime Avalon partner Jenny Phillips. I thought it was wonderful and, for me, something so important that I need to work hard and deliberately to try to incorporate in my busy life! I love the message of try, fail, try again. It accepts periodic failure, and the attempt is part of the process.
In industry news, I appreciated this trend report from Production Management Group. It covers postage, mail delivery, and the supply chain. Unfortunately, paper is not the only price that is rising—ink, polybag substrate, fuel, and freight are also having an impact. Advance planning and budget flexibility remain important. Your Avalon teams are ready for this.
You may remember my recent message on media criticism of the ASPCA—and Steve Nadizzi’s call to action for everyone in the industry to set the record straight. Charity Defense Council has also broken down the case, including a donor advisory that concludes, “CBS gets failing grades from us for fairness, literacy about how nonprofits work and succeed, and for its total disregard for ASPCA’s published results and impact. Viewers should not rely on the CBS story to make any judgments about ASPCA.”
Messaging pros will celebrate this share from Avalon senior VP Margot O’Leary: a case study from Delta Air Lines on the importance of the word YOU. Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now explains that YOU isn’t a “magic talisman,” but it’s a sign that your copy does a good job of “enter[ing] the world of the donor.” Good fundraising makes it easy for donors to see how they can make a difference.
Speaking of impact, one thing that really helps is a functional laptop! If you’ve ever spilled a beverage on yours, you know the sick feeling that follows—and, often, the expense. The New York Times has some advice on how to avoid a replacement if this happens to you. The key is to act fast, so read up now and be prepared.
Finally, it’s true: we’ve entered pumpkin season. NPR reports that August 24th was Starbucks’s earliest ever rollout of its famous Pumpkin Spice Latte—and they aren’t the only company in full seasonal mode. Of course, fundraisers have been planning fall campaigns since early summer, so this comes as no surprise to us.
Senior VP Jackie Libby wins the Avalon prize for most dedicated Pumpkin Spice Latte fan. Cheers, Jackie!