FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 03.23.21


Dear Friends,

I hope that everyone who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day enjoyed the occasion last week. The best thing about the holiday for me personally was seeing an Avalon client featured in this video from Guinness. Congratulations to Maryland Food Bank for this recognition.

Meanwhile, Avalon was busy celebrating Pi Day. It was an especially fun virtual gathering, complete with pie-themed backgrounds and everyone’s best effort at Pi-ku. Pi-ku is a play on haiku, but, instead of the traditional 5-7-5 syllables, the poem’s structure is (you guessed it) 3-1-4. Our team was wildly creative with this, and direct marketers will especially love this one from Avalon poet, Nova Cohen-Prohow:

Direct mail: / What? / Not out of style.

The Avalon team celebrated Pi Day in style.

On a serious note, the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) just released its final 2020 study, which reports a 10.6% increase in charitable giving over 2019. Here is the breakdown by giving level: less than $250 grew by 15.3%, $250-$999 increased by 8%, and $1000+ increased by 10.4%. The overall number of donors grew by 7.3%, an increase fueled by growth in new (+18.5%) and “recaptured” (+13.7%) donors. In addition, the FEP suggests a connection between strong low-dollar giving and changes to the tax code—a theory based on observed growth in $300 contributions (the exact amount of the universal charitable deduction).

I have also been following the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Two astonishing examples are the $500,000 flying cat gif and Beeple’s $6.9 million-dollar video. What really caught my attention, however, was Kings of Leon’s album release in NFT format, which generated over $500,000 for Live Nation’s Crew Nation, which supports live music crews during the pandemic. I’m interested to see what other applications for fundraising are possible.

In internal news, Avalon expanded our team last week with three new assistant program managers. Welcome, Alex, Kyna, and Shauri! Second, I am THRILLED to announce that a new Avalon website just went live. And, like many of you, we continue to celebrate the milestone of reaching 1 year as a fully remote team. In that spirit, here is a great round-up of recommendations for a productive and creative home office.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your engagement and connection throughout this experience. It has been particularly meaningful to stay in touch through this letter, and I’ve enjoyed your occasional replies. Like any good marketer, I’m watching the data and want to know what you value most. So, to close us out, I thought I would share Avalon clients’ top 5 most-clicked Avalon Dispatch links during the COVID pandemic year. Enjoy!

Take care,