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The REACH Opens to Everyone

  Like so many people in Washington, DC, we’ve been waiting impatiently for the opening of The Kennedy Center’s expansion: The REACH. We’ve made donations to the building fund, and watched the progress as this huge undertaking came to completion,...

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Hot off the Presses…

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 used today by these kinds of nonprofit institutions. The Avalon chapter, entitled Donations and Fundraising:...

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Clients in the News – October 2019

Clients in the News – October 2019

Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch Speaks Out In June, Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture was named the Smithsonian Institution’s 14th secretary. Recently, CBS This Morning ran a fascinating feature on Bunch and his new memoir: A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump about the conception, building, and opening of this important...

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Bringing a Museum to Life

Bringing a Museum to Life

One of the most exciting opportunities in my career as a fundraiser has been Avalon’s partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in building a robust Membership program to support the Museum’s opening in September 2016.  Lonnie Bunch, the visionary leader and founding director of the Museum, was recently appointed the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, but before his official installation in office, he is...

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Do you have the guts to invest in fundraising?

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 do we do with this reality? One voice might tell you to stop throwing “good” money after “bad” – shut down your...

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

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 professional fundraisers is a rule worth following: We do not tie our compensation to campaign revenue. Never. Ever. And that’s not just my opinion...

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