FYI Blog

DMAW AdVents Feature: Testing Informed Delivery

Of all the shiny, new things in the world of direct marketing, the United States Postal Service’s Informed Delivery is one that shows real promise as a new way to make your mail stand out in the crowd.      

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February 18, 2020

A Strong Year-end Finish

Last year, we saw the Trump Bump of 2017 morph into a bit of a Trump Slump of 2019 for marketers and nonprofits. So we were thrilled to see our clients’ supporters wholeheartedly respond to our year-end campaigns to end 2019 on an encouraging note. All but one of Avalon’s clients saw an increase in […]

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January 24, 2020

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

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

Do you know the golden rule of ethical fundraising – and why it matters?

Avalon was recently surprised to learn that one of the digital partners for a client based their fees on a percentage of revenue raised for a client. I’ll start by saying I believe that leading a culture of principled decision-makers is more ethically robust than micromanaging a team of rule-followers. However, the “golden rule” for […]

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September 25, 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

Clients in the News – August 2019

  REACH for the stars! The Kennedy Center is pulling out all the stops when it opens its much-anticipated expansion, the REACH, in September. For 16 days—September 7-22—the Kennedy Center will hold a free festival, including tours of the new REACH spaces, films, interactive events (like tai chi and virtual reality demonstrations), dance, comedy (Patton Oswalt!), […]

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August 21, 2019

What’s Next Beyond Email Fundraising?

We took in Digital Day at the DMAW and brought back a host of ideas and trends—here are some highlights that we might think about testing…knowing that none is one-size-fits-all: Lots of organizations shared ideas for designing successful fundraising emails and discussed website trends they are trying out with mixed success. But the most interesting […]

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July 24, 2019