FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 05.04.21

Dear friends,

Last week I got to see my mom and stepfather and my favorite uncle and aunt for the first time in over a year. Cheers to my entire family being fully vaccinated. It was incredible to gather with them again.

Speaking of which, Happy Mother’s Day to all the fundraising families out there! I hope you can also gather safely with your loved ones and that you enjoy the weekend.

Family time with my mom, Pam Bensen, and my sons Luca and Alex.

In national news, Biden’s address to the joint session of Congress was important on its own terms, but I’m guessing many of us were moved most deeply by this opening: “Madame Speaker. Madame Vice President. No president has ever said those words from this podium. No president has ever said those words. And it’s about time.” For me, the Harris-Pelosi elbow bump was yet another reminder that inclusive representation is vital.

Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and their now-famous elbow bump.

At industry level, we are poring over the 2021 M+R Benchmarks Study. Their analysis aligns with what we’re hearing from other sources and seeing for Avalon clients—and the news is good. Online revenue grew by 32% in 2020, and audiences expanded across all digital channels. I was happy to read about the prevalence of organizations’ racial justice priorities across subsectors. The study did not indicate a parallel performance trend for these priorities, but I’m hopeful the shift points to strong commitment from nonprofits and donors alike.

Inside Avalon, we are making the transition to cloud server tech. This is a key infrastructure improvement for us, and I’m thrilled to see it happen. I want to give a shout-out to the entire Avalon team for gracefully maneuvering this change—along with a special thank you to SVP Jackie Libby for leading the charge with our IT consultants. Bring on the virtual collaboration!

Speaking of which, COO Kerri Kerr has challenged us to unsubscribe from email lists that don’t deliver us value. She is on a mission to reduce our team’s email volume, and this is a great place to start. Plus, as we reported in the Download by Avalon, you are actually doing senders a favor by supporting strong deliverability. I’m working through my inbox this week in spring cleaning solidarity, and so far it has been very satisfying.

Finally, for National Talk Like Shakespeare Day, we ran an office poll to decide on our favorite play from the Bard. The Avalon goes to…A Midsummer Night’s Dream.🧚🏽 Also on the theme, I enjoyed this collection of readings and this insult generator. I hope you enjoy them both, thou rank reeling-ripe bugbear!

Take care,