FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 06.21.2022

We are thrilled to share that @AvalonFYI has been named one of the Washington Post’s 2022 Top Workplaces! Get the scoop in this week’s dispatch + news from Yellowstone, acquiring donors that stay, and more.


Dear friends,

I am proud to begin this note with an exciting announcement: Avalon has been named one of the Washington Post’s 2022 Top Workplaces in the Washington, DC area! Being named to this annual list is determined solely on feedback from employees and is a huge honor. Thank you to the Avalon team for this vote of confidence.

We have worked hard through the past few, very difficult years to prioritize employee health and wellness, improve employee compensation and professional development, and steward our culture. We’ve prioritized work on our DEIJ initiatives—defining objectives, strengthening hiring practices, and looking at all aspects of our work through this lens. We’ve expanded our client services staff, as well as our copy, design, admin, analytics, and finance departments, to provide more support and more resources for our clients and each other. And, of course, we have the best clients! If you know someone who would like to join us, we are hiring.

On a more somber note, those of us who work with Yellowstone Forever (the nonprofit arm of the park) are acutely aware of this week’s historic floods in and around Yellowstone. These events have been truly devastating for park employees and those living in Gardiner. Please keep them in your thoughts. Avalon will be there with you to support your efforts.

In strategy news, Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now shared a post on the problem with “one and done” donors. He names four groups with particularly low retention: event donors, memorial/tribute donors, disaster donors, and young donors. That doesn’t mean you should ignore these groups; however, you should be realistic about their ROI. One nuance I would add is to continue updating your assumptions with new data. For example, we found that many COVID donors have stronger retention than typical disaster donors. For more on this topic, I have written about acquiring long-term donors on the Avalon blog.

Speaking of donor behavior, marketing VP Barb Perell shared this clever sales vs. marketing graphic by commercial agency Crispin+Porter (no relation). It urges marketers to tap into deeper and more personal motivations. This lesson also applies to nonprofits—and squares with findings in The Giving Environment, a research project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation last year. “Fundraisers could benefit from making personal connections with, demonstrating impact to, and cultivating empathic responses from donors without inducing feelings of guilt or distress.”

For your calendars, the Smithsonian is hosting a Solstice Saturday event on June 25. In addition to parties and programs, there will be a free concert on the National Mall hosted by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. And Smithsonian museums will be open until midnight. If you’re in the DC area, it should be a great event.

To close, I thought it would be fun to sign off with beach photos. The first is a picture of my son Alex and me in Nantucket, where I’m writing this. The second was shared by Avalon friend Barry Cox, whose Avalon Yeti is hitting the sand in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Thank you, Barry! We love to hear about Avalon swag sightings in the wild.

Left: Allison and son Alex sit on a lifeguard stand at the beach. Right: Avalon Yeti mug in the sand

Take care,


Allison signature gray

Allison Porter headshot

Allison Porter, President
Avalon Consulting Group
202-429-6080 ext. 102