In this week’s @AvalonFYI dispatch: an important rule for donor advised funds, inclusive language, a playlist that lowers stress, and a cheat sheet for Gen Z lingo. Read it here!
Happy Memorial Day! Avalon will be closed both Friday, May 27 and Monday, May 30. Your Avalon teams have planned ahead and will keep all campaigns on schedule.
In the past week, Avalon’s AMMC attendees have been sharing what they learned. One standout was the importance of consistent membership and benefits language. Avalon and our clients know this, of course, but it was interesting to the team that Hagerty and the Detroit Lions were validating this best practice from the commercial side.
They also reported that museums are having success with Facebook video ads, and they liked the recommendation to seek digital inspiration beyond the nonprofit sector. Not only do businesses like Spotify and Apple run creative campaigns, but they also set the bar for user experience. Donors expect similarly smooth functionality from nonprofit platforms.
In addition, senior VP Jackie Libby shared the presentation on donor-advised funds (DAF) that she gave with the Smithsonian’s John Perell and Colleen Morith. Their talk emphasized the importance of encouraging and tracking DAF gifts. Because they tend to be larger, are earmarked for charity, and are often unrestricted, DAF gifts afford tremendous flexibility to nonprofits. Donors benefit from the reduced tax burden and the opportunity to donate a variety of assets. In addition, since most funds have lowered their minimum gifts, DAFs are gaining popularity as one more payment channel option.
One important note for programs that are benefits-driven: DAF donors are not allowed to receive benefits with fair market value. The reason for the rule is that donors receive an immediate tax deduction, so there is no opportunity to account for benefits received. This dynamic requires thoughtful messaging to DAF donors, to maximize opportunity and avoid frustration when they learn about the rule.
In client news, congratulations to Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) for going viral. Their recent TikTok of a dramatic cat rescue has reached over 87,000 views and over 12,000 likes. While you’re on their feed, our digital team recommends two more TikToks that will help you meet today’s cute dog and cool cat quota. Well done, HRA! These videos really highlight your brand personality.
Our DEI task force recently shared an update that included an emphasis on inclusive language. If you’d like to learn more, I recommend this guidance from HBR. In addition, we know that insider language can be a barrier to inclusivity for new hires. Be sure to include a cheat sheet that covers acronyms and industry terms within your onboarding materials. It will help people feel part of the team more quickly.
Speaking of language, digital program manager Liem Ho and assistant program manager Rachel Miller graciously gave Avalon a primer on Gen Z lingo. I loved their examples. Here are a few highlights:
Finally, these are still tough days to navigate. COO Kerri Kerr shared a playlist that has been scientifically proven to lower stress. If you find your anxiety levels rising, give it a try. In fact, the music has been so successful, it comes with a warning not to listen while driving! A playlist won’t solve the problems our nation is facing. However, lowering your personal stress level can help you process and make your way through hard times.