FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 01.24.2023

In this week’s @AvalonFYI dispatch, you will find client success, industry benchmarks, a USPS deadline, and one of our favorite lists: Big Duck’s 2023 words to avoid. Read it here!


Dear friends,

2023 is in full swing at Avalon with planning underway for every department, a spring staff gathering in the works, and new clients onboarding. Welcome to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. It’s an exciting start to the year, and I’m enjoying the energy. I hope you are experiencing something similar in your organizations this January. (If not, we’re hiring!)

Speaking of great energy, congratulations to SAGE for being one of CREDO’s January featured organizations. CREDO members vote on monthly donation ballots, which determine how the company will distribute its philanthropy. CREDO estimates their total annual giving at around $1 million per year, so the monthly opportunity is substantial. Way to go, SAGE! You’ve got my vote.

In benchmarks this week, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project reported on 2022 Q3 giving trends. Big picture, the data shows an increase in total donations (+4.7%) alongside a decrease in the number of donors (-7.1%). As expected, new and newly retained donors dropped most steeply. The percent decline in donors correlates with giving levels, with the micro (under $100) suffering the sharpest drop. The combined group of donors under $500 represent 85% of donors and 96% of donor attrition. However, they account for only 9.3% of total funds raised, which explains why donors overall can drop even as revenue keeps growing.

Mailers should note that an important USPS deadline is approaching. According to Merkle, USPS will require all organizations with a Caller PO Box, Regular PO Box, and/or a Business Reply Permit to transition from cash/check to a USPS Enterprise Payment System account. Dates vary by post office, but the Brentwood/Washington DC office has set a deadline of March 1, after which they will hold mail. Regardless of location, all organizations must transition to the new system by July 1, 2023.

We are always on the lookout for good training opportunities for new staff and colleagues, and our friends at Production Solutions have announced dates for their 2023 Production 101 webinars. The first event will take place on February 16 from 10-11:30am ET. These trainings are a great opportunity to learn from production experts and a great fit for junior team members. Reach out to Production Solutions or your Avalon team for a link to register.

In creative news, Big Duck published its annual list of words to avoid (or use with more intention) in 2023. I always find this list so educational and thought-provoking. For example, are you familiar with the history of “brainstorm” and “stakeholder”? It’s enlightening.

Finally, SVP Margot O’Leary shared good news for park lovers: the National Park Service will continue the tradition of entrance-fee free days in 2023. This year’s first National Park free-entry day was January 16, Martin Luther King Day. Your next opportunity will be on April 22, the first day of National Park Week. Mark your calendars!

Take care,


Allison signature gray

Allison Porter headshot

Allison Porter, President
Avalon Consulting Group
202-429-6080 ext. 102