FYI Blog

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 8.04.20

  Dear friends, In recent weeks, images of John Lewis’s final crossing of Edmund Pettus Bridge and the many tributes to his life have been deeply impactful. An essay he wrote to be published on the day of his funeral concludes, “When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that […]

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August 4, 2020

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 7.28.20

Dear friends, Summer at Avalon involves fun activities like vacations and early Fridays, but it also means proactive preparations for our busiest season – fall and year-end fundraising. This year, we are also taking care to ensure that our plans integrate the unique challenges and opportunities of pandemic fundraising. I would love to hear how […]

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July 28, 2020

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 7.14.20

Dear friends, This week we are celebrating some good news at Avalon – and perhaps you are too! As fiscal years close for July-June organizations, SIX of our clients had record-breaking revenue years. If that doesn’t speak to the amazing work fundraisers have been doing – in a pandemic no less – I don’t know […]

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July 14, 2020

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 6.30.20

  Dear friends, I went into the Avalon office last week, and it’s hard to miss that both DC and our building feel very empty. Many buildings are boarded up, and there is some amazing BLM art popping up on the plywood window coverings. If you have an opportunity to go downtown, it’s worth checking […]

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June 30, 2020

Avalon Weekly Dispatch 6.23.20

Dear friends, The past week held significant moments for many issues we care about, including Pride Month, Juneteenth, and World Refugee Day. LGBTQ+ advocates and allies, we join you in celebrating last week’s Supreme Court decision! And I hope you all caught Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian and Founding Director of NMAAHC, on WaPo Live discussing the legacy […]

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June 23, 2020

COVID-19 Response and Resources

  In this unprecedented time, Avalon is here.   Here for our staff.   Our first priority is the safety of Avalon staff and clients. On March 2nd Avalon ceased company travel, and on March 12th we shifted fully to remote work. We have been telecommuter-friendly for 20+ years, which helped make this a seamless […]

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April 14, 2020

Clients in the News – Special COVID-19 Edition

Like so many of us, Avalon clients are working from home, practicing social distancing, tutoring their kids and grandkids, and somehow still managing to move their critical organizational missions forward. Here’s what our clients are working on—and ways we can all get involved—as they work to help us all thrive during this unprecedented time.   […]

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April 7, 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

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 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