FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 03.07.2023

Pop quiz: which direct marketing copywriter has Hollywood credentials on his resume? Find the answer in today’s @AvalonFYI dispatch, along with training for new fundraisers, social media inspiration, DC events, and one great question to ask yourself. Also, we’re hiring! Get the scoop:


Dear friends,

It’s an exciting month for Avalon with an all-staff retreat in the works for March 27-29. This is a chance for us to gather in DC and enjoy being in-person again. Last year, we packed our schedule with trainings, team activities, and a big party, all of which was fun but hectic. This year, we shortened the experience to 3 days and left more open time for spontaneous connection. I’m excited to see everyone and eager to experience the new format. It should be a great week for our entire team.

In industry news, congrats to Avalon friend and freelance copywriter Louis Bayard for a huge achievement: His novel The Pale Blue Eye is now a Netflix movie! The story is a mystery that features young Edgar Allen Poe when he was a cadet at West Point Military Academy. In an interview with Netflix, Lou explains why Poe fans are in for a treat: “There are lots of Easter eggs salted throughout the book, starting with the title itself, which comes from ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’” Way to go, Lou!

Speaking of writing, the National Parks Service (NPS) continues to hit home runs on social media. They have grown engagement aggressively on Twitter and Instagram, largely through wholesome humor that connects followers to their mission. In an interview with Link In Bio, NPS social media specialist Matthew Turner emphasized the dynamic, fun, and sometimes unpredictable nature of social media marketing:

Social media really keeps you on your toes. It’s changing all the time…If you’re a creative person, it allows you to try new things, explore different ways to communicate, and really see what sticks. You can also watch in real-time when something awkwardly stumbles out of the gate or, on the other hand, goes viral in a positive way because people really resonate with that skunk video. Who knew?

On March 23, DMAW will host its annual DM 101 training in Washington, DC. This is a fantastic opportunity for new fundraisers to learn the basics. Avalon VP Dara Igersheim will teach the DM Creative session, and digital account director David Lothamer will teach Online and Multichannel Marketing. After the event, there will be a spring happy hour for all DMAW members at City Tap House Dupont.

It’s also fun to see DC-area spring events coming back. I saw the National Gallery is starting up its National Gallery Nights on the second Thursdays in March, April, and May from 6-9 PM. In the past, these events have been a big hit because of the creative themes. This year, the March theme will be “(S)heroes,” April is “Garden Party,” and May is a DC-themed “Homegrown.”

For self-care, I like this simple question from author Katherine May: What soothes you? May acknowledged that it can be difficult to pause a busy day for self-care, but we should do it anyway: “Let yourself go past those thoughts that tell you it’s silly or pointless or a waste of time, or you’re far too busy to possibly do this.” In our internal chat, COO Kerri Kerr shared that time in nature is soothing for her, and reading and walking my dogs works for me (just not at the same time!).

A view down the beach of Sullivan's Island, SC at low tide. Allison's two rescued Labrador-mixes Churchill (larger, black-haired with a white spot on his chest) and Cisco (smaller, with a cream-colored coat) play in a pool of water. The sky is clear and bright. A soothing walk with my dogs on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina. 

Finally, Avalon is hiring. We currently have open positions in client service, digital fundraising, finance, and production. In addition to competitive compensation, we are a Washington Post Top Workplace with amazing benefits. These include 100% employer-paid insurance, home office reimbursements, generous PTO, a sabbatical policy, and a supportive culture. Most importantly, we make an impact together by working with incredible nonprofits. Please spread the word in your networks. Thank you!

Take care,


Allison signature gray

Allison Porter headshot

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