FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 02.01.2022

Happy February! Check out this week’s @AvalonConsultingGroup Dispatch for client news, an update on post-COVID fundraising, our newest dashboard, 2022 work trends, and more.


Dear friends,

Happy February! Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has some great events planned, including an evening with Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch and Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka on February 24. I also recommend this engaging lineup of activities across the Smithsonian.

In other client news, congratulations to Cynthia Chavez Lamar, who was just appointed director of the National Museum of the American Indian, effective February 14. She has an incredible history with the museum, and I love that she started as an intern! She currently serves as the museum’s acting associate director for collections and operations.

I’m also excited to announce a new update of Avalon’s sustainer dashboard. This tool is designed to help fundraisers quickly identify how monthly donors are performing, where opportunities lie, and how to maximize retention and long-term value. It will also help you get to know your new sustainers through info on their channel preferences and their paths to monthly giving. Contact me or your Avalon team if you would like a demo!

A laptop with screen showing Avalon's sustainer dashboard

Avalon’s new Sustainer Dashboard

Turning to COVID, Senior VP Margot O’Leary circulated an assessment of post-COVID fundraising by Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now. Brooks explains that pandemic challenges are ongoing, so he does not expect the high attrition we often see from disaster donors. He predicts that “we will see a ‘softening’ of fundraising results this year, but not a ‘crash.’” This matches what Avalon has been observing and advising our clients. His outline of best practices also aligns with our approach:


  • Keep connecting with donors and would-be donors.
  • Keep telling them the truth about the world and how it can be better with their help.
  • Put meaningful action in their hands.
  • Pay attention to what works.
  • Keep your eyes open for changes in tech, media use, and the overall giving climate.


We are also watching the economic impact of midterms (as if political anxiety wasn’t enough!). Economists have been aggregating 90 years of data to determine what to expect for the stock market. Here is a summary in five key charts. Their broad conclusion is to prioritize long-term stability as we move through midterm uncertainty. I like this approach for fundraising programs as well.

In the digital space, Google Registry announced a new “.day” top-level domain. This will be a secure domain that brings attention to a particular event or day. One of the examples they highlight is the new Giving Tuesday domain, Clever!

For design and copy, marketing VP Barb Perell shared out several sources on usability from UX Collective. One of them emphasizes the importance of writing with respect, another explains inclusive, accessible writing, and a third celebrates design simplicity. They are good reminders that clarity and simplicity are often the way to go.

Speaking of clarity, when I read this Wired article on work trends for 2022, I felt very proud of Avalon. We made a smooth transition to remote work in the early days of the pandemic, and, more recently, we settled into it as our new normal. Avalon’s senior leadership team—and our entire staff—has been adaptable, and they anticipated these trends for 2022. Well done, everyone.

On a related note, I loved these new rules for virtual meetings from Vu Le at Nonprofit AF. I especially like #12: “Above all, we will be gracious, patient, and understanding with each other.” Hear, hear.

Finally, for this very cold winter, mug cakes sound delicious. Do you prefer blueberry muffin, chocolate fudge, or cinnamon roll? Remember, “stressed” is just “desserts” spelled backwards!

Take care,


Allison Porter headshot

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