FYI Blog

Avalon Dispatch 10.26.2021


Dear friends,

I have been overwhelmed by the number of clients and partners reaching out to congratulate Avalon on our recent acquisition of Tripi Consulting. Thank you for your kind words and good cheer. Sharing this milestone with you makes it even more exciting. It has been inspiring to learn more about the incredible missions of the Tripi/now Avalon clients, and we look forward to bringing our data-driven approach and broad support and fundraising experience to your programs!

In other good news, Carmen Del Guercio, President and CEO of Maryland Food Bank (MFB), was recently featured as one of Baltimore Magazine’s GameChangers 2021. In the article, he speaks about his hope that MFB will both continue to address current needs and improve the conditions that cause food insecurity in the first place: “Over time, playing that role is going to help us reduce the number of people who rely on food banks, and maybe, someday in the future, food banks might not even exist.”

Kudos also to Orbis for their recent Flight for Sight event. It was a creative and highly interactive fundraising event that included virtual flights into some of their key service locations, along with fun and competitive games. The Avalon/Orbis team finished 3rd out of about 8, and we did surprisingly well in the Canadian Trivia competition. Well done, everyone!


Receiving our flight instructions at the Orbis Flight for Sight event.


Taking flight with the Orbis crew!

Direct mailers will appreciate this roundup of best practices from Future Fundraising Now: “10 ways to make your direct mail stronger.” These reminders are always welcome, particularly at year-end. Avalon COO Kerri Kerr noted that she especially likes this point:

Make the donor feel the appeal is about them. Put some action in front of them—something they can do to make the world a better place. In their personal story, they are not a minor bit player in the story of your organization. To them, you’re the bit player in the adventure of their life.

Avalon’s DEI task force recommends this post from Stacey Nguyen at Community Centric Fundraising: “7 tips to write content that is more accessible.” Nguyen points out that accessibility is the responsibility of everyone who touches a campaign:

We’re all a bit prone to thinking that accessibility is tied to technology — like a website’s coding, the structure of a PDF, metadata, whatever—and so we think that accessibility is an ‘expert’s domain,’ like we kinda assume it’s the web developer or graphic designer’s job. But actually, accessibility comes in really varied forms, including how we write. And this is cool because just about everyone writes and reads, which means everyone can play a part in creating more accessible content.

In HR news, the desire to do good is trending. The Wall Street Journal reports that Effective Altruism (EA) is leading some professionals to change careers. EA is a science- and data-based approach to doing good, developed by Oxford philosophers in the late 2000s. Early EA emphasized philanthropy, but recently the movement has shifted towards career development. Whereas “the early archetype of an EA acolyte was an investment banker or tech executive who gave large sums,” now the movement includes many professionals who also want to align their day-to-day work with their values. I suggest they join us in fundraising!

Speaking of which, Avalon has several open positions, so please point your favorite fundraisers in our direction. We always tout our excellent benefits, but this month we’re also proud of our candy bracket, “The Sweet Sixteen”. As always, it’s a heated battle. Here’s one thing we know for sure: “candy corn is Halloween’s most contentious sweet.”

Take care,


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