FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 06.01.21


Dear friends,

The news from San Jose, the anniversary of George Floyd’s death, and the Republican party’s stubborn resistance to responsible governance have been weighing on me. I continue to hope that the Democratic leadership and majority will enable top-down change through meaningful legislation. At the grassroots, I always find comfort in our clients’ good work and the generosity of their donors. Thank you.

I also feel it is important that we each continue to deepen our commitments. To that end, I recommend this analysis of corporate statements by Anti-Racism Daily, which includes a link to a fascinating tracker of how major corporations support racial equity. They also issue a call to action: that we look more closely at our own organizations.

In good news, Avalon is growing! To attract great talent, we are celebrating the incredible suite of benefits we offer to our employees. In 1997, Ann Herzog and I founded Avalon to create a space for women to thrive in fundraising—and a healthy workplace in our fast-paced industry. I am so proud of the many ways we continue to fulfill this vision. (By the way, while you’re on our website, be sure to check out our beautiful new home page.)

Speaking of our industry, the Wall Street Journal has some good reminders about the value of focus groups in marketing research. These could be helpful for the nonprofit sector, as we consider how to gauge what members and donors really want from nonprofits post-pandemic.

Also from the WSJ, I liked this article on opting out of video chats. It seems that video communication is the default for many organizations these days. We use it heavily at Avalon too, given its value for collaboration. However, I feel strongly that our next frontier in virtual work is to sharpen judgment around how we use our tech—and to apply those tools with more intention. This has been an infrastructure focus for Avalon in 2021, and I hope that many organizations will start to make the turn.

However, if you hope to stay on Zoom forever, you aren’t alone. The transition to “normal” after vaccination has been awkward and uncertain, to say the least. Fortunately, there is a lot of good content to support your decisions. Even Vogue has a perspective on this! Here are a few more from Fast CompanyNPRand a psychologist at Mount Sinai.

As you start to venture out, Thrillist has compiled a great list of ideas for fun summer activities in DC. Two Avalon clients get the nod. Well done to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts for your summer programming! The Kennedy Center’s Victura Park also gets a mention, and I’m happy to report that the REACH is now open for the season.

Take care,