FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 10.12.2021


Dear friends,

I’m happy to report a smooth first week of welcoming new colleagues and clients from Tripi Consulting. Meanwhile, fall fundraising is in full swing for everyone. It’s an exciting time for the nonprofit sector—and a busy one. With so much going on, I’m encouraging the Avalon team to revisit best practices for self-care and time management.

As I have mentioned, Avalon clients won six MAXIs this year—2 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. You can see our award winners and all the other outstanding campaigns in the 2021 MAXI Awards book, which DMAW just posted online. Congratulations, MAXI winners! I am so proud of our clients and their Avalon teams for this great work.

Congratulations also to Farm Sanctuary on their 35th anniversary event, The Power of Sanctuary. Avalon is proud to be your longtime partner, and the birthday celebration was a fun event with lots of celebrity splash. Well done!

In other good news, Avalon Analytics® has developed two new reports. The first is our demographic analysis, which can both enhance segmentation and assess your file’s diversity index over time. This calculation can also compare the diversity of two or more data sets like total donors vs. new joins, direct mail vs. digital donors vs. on-site, or Boomers vs. Gen X vs. Millennials. I am thrilled that Avalon can support our clients’ DEI goals in this way.

Second, Avalon has developed new reporting for donor-advised funds (DAF). This will be available within a master file analysis, or as a standalone report. It will tell you the amount of DAF revenue in your fundraising program, DAF giving as a percent of total revenue, how DAF revenue is trending, how it impacts other forms of giving, and which campaigns generate DAF matchback revenue. DAFs are growing in impact, so this information is vital.

On the creative side, our Thinking Creatively film club recently watched and discussed the documentary Helvetica. This film tells the story of the font’s history, the philosophy behind it, and how newer fonts rebel against Helvetica’s clean lines. It stimulated a lively conversation, and our designers shared their expertise with the group. This has been an engaging professional development series for our staff.

Design fans may also enjoy this article from Monotype on typography and modern protest. It explores the history of design in protest materials, analyzing everything from iconic logos to hand-lettered signs. For commercial design, check out Keith Fleck’s Corporate States of America project, which remixes major corporate brands into state logos. Can you identify all 51 logos? I was stumped by a few!

Finally, I loved this Mother Jones story on how Joel Cusick, GIS specialist for the National Park Service, successfully used lidar, a laser technology for civil engineering, to measure bears’ surface volume from a distance. Not only does this take Fat Bear Week to the next level, but it’s a great example of how one person’s curiosity can lead to innovation.

Take care,


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