FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 06.22.21


Dear friends,

What a full weekend! I hope you were able to honor Juneteenth and Father’s Day with your loved ones. Happy Father’s Day to all the families in our Avalon community. And Happy Juneteenth. Juneteenth was already a paid holiday at Avalon, but I was glad to see Congress make an official designation last week.

Meanwhile, I’m listening closely to Black leaders who caution against symbolic-only gestures. I appreciated these words from Mary Elliott, Curator of American Slavery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture: “Juneteenth is for everyone to pause and really think about the meaning and manifestation of freedom.”

On a related note, COO Kerri Kerr recently reported back from a training by F.E.A.R.S. Advantage that covered several DEI topics. Among them was the important skill of apologizing, for which they offered the following framework:

  • I apologize for [the harm caused].
  • Thank you for [a specific behavior/way of being].
  • I commit to [a specific action] by [a specific behavior].

This resonates with recommendations from Antiracism Daily, where Nicole Cardoza outlines a similar process and explains why knowing how to apologize is essential:

As we become more aware and attuned, we are bound to make mistakes – which means in various scenarios we may cause harm or be harmed. Our fear of this can force us to retreat from tough conversations or important moments of learning. But suppose we can equip ourselves with tools for navigating challenging situations. In that case, we can more effectively practice harm reduction if and when it occurs – and feel more confident when engaging in uncomfortable situations. This act may allow us to stay in relationship – not run and flee. One of these tools is the act of apologizing.

In fundraising news, as you are likely aware, the Postal Service recently proposed a substantial rate increase, to go into effect on August 29. The Nonprofit Alliance (TNPA) has provided background info, analysis, and TNPA’s plan for advocacy here. Your Avalon teams are working hard to minimize the impact of this change on your budgets.

One thing we recommend is that you consider shifting first-class segments to nonprofit postage where you can.  We are not seeing much value for first-class postage, especially in terms of delivery speed, and people don’t seem to notice postage treatments all that much anymore.  Save first class for where it really matters—like high-dollar renewals.

You may have noticed that the rate increase coincides with the beginning of fundraisers’ busy season. This is all the more reason to test out new time management strategies now, if you need them. I liked this article from Fast Company on how to structure your schedule for success, as well as this round up of prioritization techniques from RescueTime.

Fortunately, however, we still have the summer season in front of us. I’m enjoying the energy and hopefulness of this phase, even as I adjust to the idea of re-opening. Whether you’re traveling or sticking close to home, I hope you can toast the season with some of these summer cocktails and mocktails. Cheers!

Take care,