FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 09.20.2022

The importance of rest and recovery, Republicans’ fundraising mistakes, accessible events, strategic planning, jellyfish, and more…read it here in the @AvalonFYI dispatch!

Dear friends,

I spent several days last week at a strategic planning offsite with Avalon’s client service and finance leaders. It was inspiring to connect with this team in person and invigorating to get a change of scenery from our home offices (and a break from Zoom). We had several exciting debates and discussions, so look out 2023! Avalon is ready.

But first…September is in full swing, and, predictably, it’s hectic. Not only are fall campaigns underway, but the supply chain requires extra lead time on everything. Add midterms to that, and…wow. Thank you to our clients and the Avalon teams for your hard work to make the most of 2022 fall giving. I’m so impressed by both your campaigns and the strategies behind them. Let’s do this.

We are pros, of course, but the busy season can still be stressful. Rest and recovery are crucial. According to Harvard Business Review, it can be difficult to recognize when we need rest, so it’s important to be proactive:

Research shows that when our bodies and minds need to recover and reset the most (i.e., when we’re most depleted), we’re the least likely — and able — to do something about it. For example, when work is demanding and we’re feeling overwhelmed, we quickly slide into a negative cycle of working longer hours and taking fewer breaks. During those stressful times, we also tend to eat less healthily, even though adequate nutrition and hydration are important to replenishing energy levels…To overcome this paradox, you must learn what works best for you and devise a recovery plan.

In marketing news, this New York Times article about Senate Republicans’ fundraising mistakes caught my eye. Political fundraisers are notoriously hamstrung by short-termism: the acute focus on short-term outcomes with zero attention to long-term, sustainable development of donors. Couple that with a myopic digital focus and the predictable result is that the NRSC’s net revenue is not keeping pace with their investment. Worse, their misleading tactics exacerbate the predatory practices made routine by Trump’s fundraising machine. Unfortunately, this gives all fundraising a bad name.

We are better than this, and we do better! And we will train the next generation of fundraisers to carry the torch. If you have new fundraisers on your team, Avalon senior leaders Margot O’Leary and Mary Meredith are presenting at the Association of National Advertisers Nonprofit Federation’s Fundamentals of Fundraising virtual training next week. This multi-day, virtual event takes place September 27-28.

On an inclusive note, marketing VP Barb Perell shared a great resource from the Web Accessibility Initiative on making events accessible. It covers everything from event planning, to materials, to speaker preparation, to public speaking. In addition, the site’s introduction outlines the foundation for all event inclusivity:

Be aware that some of your audience might not be able to:

  • see well or at all,
  • hear well or at all,
  • move well or at all,
  • speak well or at all,
  • understand information presented in some ways well or at all.

Finally, thank you to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the San Francisco Symphony for welcoming me when I was in San Francisco earlier this month. It meant so much to me to visit with you in person and see your work up close. For a great example, check out these jellyfish!

Take care,


Allison signature gray

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