FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 04.27.21


Dear friends,

Last week was quite something. I felt a wash of relief when I heard the news of Derek Chauvin’s conviction. I continue to think of George Floyd’s family, and I hope this helps them find some peace. There is also a sobering awareness of institutional racism, and an opportunity for us all to recommit. As I often do, I look to our clients for leadership, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch III offered exactly that:

Until we find collective solutions, until we admit and grapple with our tortured racial history, we will continue to suffer the effects of this pernicious malignance consuming the soul of the nation. Now is not the time to shrink from the task, though, nor is it the time to give in to cynicism. It is the time to join with all who believe in the promise of America. It is the time to say, “we can be better than this.” It is the time to redouble our efforts to build a more perfect union. Justice is so beautiful when it is applied fairly.

In this light, Earth Day felt weighty. This year, I have particularly appreciated resources that highlight the intersectionality of climate issues and that connect across nonprofit verticals.  SSIR’s “How Philanthropy Must Address the Climate Emergency” is a good example.

That being said, there have also been some fantastic Earth Day events! Well done to everyone for your programming. Avalon Senior Program Manager Barb Carey participated in the Grand Canyon Conservancy’s Virtual Trailblazer event, and several of our families enjoyed kids’ programming like National Geographic’s Earth Day Eve. For Indigenous perspectives, check out the National Museum of the American Indian’s Living Earth Festival. They did a fantastic deep dive on the business of agriculture. Here at Avalon, we held a virtual gathering at which VP and Director of Digital Innovation Mary Meredith introduced us to her chickens and bees. 🐓🐝

On the marketing front, Adweek recently addressed how brand marketers have a unique opportunity to deliver the kinds of strong connections that consumers have missed. The article specifically emphasized the value of print media, stating “In fact, the response rate for direct mail campaigns is nine times higher than email, according to the Data and Marketing Association. And 41% of Americans look forward to checking their mail every day, according to Gallup.” It’s a good read, in case you need more evidence that we live in an omnichannel world.

Another interesting viewpoint came from Future Fundraising Now, in a post that encourages mailing and emailing to major donors. Citing an article from Veritas Blog, Jeff Brooks points out, “There are only two valid reasons for not including a major donor in your direct-response fundraising: (1) The donor specifically asks you to stop mailing or e-mailing appeals. (2) Your relationship with the donor has developed to a place where direct-response communication has become truly redundant.” Remember this the next time someone in your organization worries aloud that donors “might get annoyed.”

Finally, congratulations to Farm Sanctuary, whose social media team was nominated for a Webby under the Animals category! To support them with your vote (and for serious social media inspiration), check out the contest here.


Take care,