FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 08.03.2021


Dear friends,

Between cautious guidance from the CDC on the Delta variant and congressional hearings on the January 6 violence at the Capitol, it has been a sobering week. Both are reminders of how much the country has been through—and what we still face together. I echo these words from Avalon senior vice-president Margot O’Leary, in reaction to officers’ testimony: “So often we move on from events when they’re out of sight, out of mind (myself included).  I was struck by how much people are suffering from the horrific events of that day.” I sincerely hope the hearings help our leaders—and all of us—hold onto these important lessons.

On a happier note, it has been fun to watch the Tokyo Olympics. While none of it feels quite the same (no spectators) and the threat of COVID looms, it’s still the Olympics. Watching the world’s elite athletes compete is one of my favorite things every four summers. Or five as it may be. I always love the swimming, but this year I’ve been obsessed with the surfing. I particularly enjoyed this article about the man in charge of predicting the waves, and I love that American gold medalist Carissa Moore founded Moore Aloha, a nonprofit to inspire girls to take up the sport.

In fundraising news, the latest issue of The Download by Avalon is now available. This edition tackles year-end planning and is full of good info and statistics. Did you know that 29.6% of online revenue is raised during the month of December? Our teams are experts and have you covered on this, of course, but it’s a great review of best practices. I invite you to share the link in your networks, so even more nonprofits can make the most of donors’ year-end generosity.

Speaking of which, a recent study by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy finds that only half American households give to charity. This is hard to imagine for those of us who live and breathe fundraising! The study authors posited that the recession may have impacted millennial philanthropy because they didn’t have the chance to establish a habit of giving. Yet, Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, believes it’s on charities to more effectively communicate their message, saying, “We can do a better job of elevating the work and heroism of nonprofits in communities all across the country.” Hear, hear.

Another interesting data set came from executive search firm Korn Ferry, via the Wall Street Journal: Americans Are Finally Checking Out on Vacation This Summer. Not only are we taking more time off, but we’re also disconnecting with intention. I know the value of this both for myself and for Avalon, and I support it more broadly for our industry. I was happy to see these numbers: “79% of professionals say they will use more vacation days in 2021, and 46% say they will take a longer vacation than in past years…While 61% say they plan to check in at least once a day, 82% say it will be less contact than on past vacations.”

Finally, if you’re struggling to get your mojo back at work and in life, you’re not alone. I appreciated these tips on how to find motivation, from a simple cup of tea to reaching out for social connections. But, most importantly, have some self-compassion. Good reminders!

Take care,