FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 08.24.2021

  Dear friends, It has been a difficult week of news, full of heartbreaking stories and images. It is hard to process so many families, communities, and even nations in crisis. As always, I find hope in the determination and responsiveness of our nonprofit community. Thank you. You make a difference, and I’m grateful. In […]

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August 24, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 08.17.2021

  Dear friends, I’m excited to begin this week’s dispatch by sharing Avalon’s return to office plans. I recently announced to staff and clients that we will remain a remote-first team, and that all staff will retain full-time telecommuting benefits. We will continue to have a physical office headquarters in Washington, DC, but we have […]

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August 17, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 08.10.2021

  Dear friends, I hope you are well, notwithstanding news around the Delta variant. If you’re experiencing “COVID ambivalence,” you’re not alone. According to Steven Taylor, professor at the University of British Columbia and author of The Psychology of Pandemics, “Uncertainty is a pervasive, abstract stressor.” The good news, however, is that history points to patterns […]

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August 10, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 08.03.2021

  Dear friends, Between cautious guidance from the CDC on the Delta variant and congressional hearings on the January 6 violence at the Capitol, it has been a sobering week. Both are reminders of how much the country has been through—and what we still face together. I echo these words from Avalon senior vice-president Margot O’Leary, in reaction to officers’ testimony: “So often we move on from events when they’re out of sight, out […]

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August 3, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 07.27.2021

  Dear friends, Following a great Bridge Conference (thank you to everyone who made it such an incredible event!), we are continuing professional development internally at Avalon. This includes Unconscious Bias and Cultural Humility Training with our DEI consultant Jaye Holly and Interview Training with Melissa Ferrell of the HR Team. These topics are closely related and essential to our DEI work, especially as we grow our team. (On […]

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July 27, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 07.20.2021

  Dear friends, I hope you are enjoying the summer weather and a bit of seasonal flexibility. I am always amazed at how much fundraisers accomplish during this season, as we simultaneously run campaigns, prepare for fall and year-end, and make the most of vacations and sunny days. Here at Avalon, we are diligent in […]

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July 20, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 07.13.2021

  Dear friends, To begin with some good news…Happy  24th  Anniversary to Avalon! Tomorrow, July 14, is the date of our founding. I am so proud of the work we have done to further progressive causes and to grow as professionals and as a team. I remember those early days fondly and I am eager for the next phase. We have positioned the company—and helped […]

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July 13, 2021

DEI-Informed Fundraising: Hiring and Change

This post is part five of a five-part series on DEI-informed fundraising. In part one of this series, we explored the connection between list strategies and DEI—and concluded that lists alone cannot make an organization more diverse. In part two, we offered six principles for DEI-informed messaging. Part three was a dive into the connection […]

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July 7, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 07.06.2021

  Dear friends, I hope the long weekend and the Fourth of July holiday were a good break for you. Last week was a busy one at Avalon, including a series of strategic planning meetings for our senior leadership team. With so much going on at any given time, I consider this kind of intentional, […]

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July 6, 2021

Avalon Dispatch 06.29.21

  Dear friends, It has been a big news week. The Senate’s failure to move forward on federal voting legislation was a disappointment. All eyes are on the filibuster, and President Biden assures Americans that the fight for voting rights is far from over. In addition, Derek Chauvin’s sentencing was both milestone and call to […]

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June 29, 2021