FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 02.07.2023

In this week’s @AvalonFYI dispatch, you will find client news, a primer on readability, the data-driven case for vacation, two exciting documentaries, and one very special Groundhog Day.


Dear friends,

I hope that everyone is finding meaningful ways to learn and honor Black History this month. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow the National Museum of African American History and Culture on social media (Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube). The museum’s 2023 Black History Month theme is Black Resistance: A Journey to Equality. Tomorrow, the museum will host a screening and panel discussion of the Smithsonian Channel documentary, Afrofuturism: The Origin Story. If you can’t make it in person, the post-screening discussion will also be livestreamed.

In other client news, congratulations and welcome to Farm Sanctuary’s new CEO, Ellen O’Connell. She brings a tremendous amount of nonprofit experience to the position, including 6 months as Farm Sanctuary’s interim CEO and 15 years as vice president at International Rescue Committee. We look forward to working with Ellen and capturing her vision and voice for the organization.

Accessibility is a key principle of Choice Points, the latest conversation we’re having with clients around their DEI initiatives. This week, the Avalon team has been discussing readability. It is critical to ensure that every reader in your audience can easily understand your message. This is especially important with materials that readers will scan, and it is increasingly relevant for SEO. For assistance, Microsoft 365 can assess a document’s reading level. Avalon clients, our writers have you covered!

Speaking of reading, Dan Palotta’s book, Uncharitable, has been adapted into a documentary film. The book developed from his 2013 TED Talk, The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong, which has over 5 million views and continues to spark conversation. The movie premieres at the Lincoln Center on March 28, and there will be a DC premier on April 4. I’m excited to see it, and I hope it will be educational for donors.

For your downtime, last Tuesday was National Plan Your Vacation Day. If you missed it, don’t worry. It’s not too late to put a hold on your calendar and book that VRBO! Vacation anticipation is good for mental health, and you’ll be setting yourself up for productivity. I love this oldie but goodie from HBR: The Data-Driven Case for Vacation.

Finally, last week senior digital program manager Caroline Crow made a noteworthy trek—to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day. She gave the Avalon team a list of groundhog fun facts, and this is my favorite: Punxsutawney Phil’s full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.” He predicted 6 more weeks of winter, so get ready to bundle up.

Men in long black coats and top hats, who are standing on a stage with a wooden lattice behind them, raise Phil the groundhog in the air in Punxsutawney, PA. The men are smiling and cheering and many have their hands in the air. Below the stage, a crowd of people with their backs turned all point their phones at the standing group.Caroline’s view of Punxsutawney Phil just after he saw his shadow.

Take care,


Allison signature gray

Allison Porter headshot

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